San José City Landmarks
San Jose Water Works
City Landmark #
374 W. Santa Clara St.
Binder & Curtis
The San Jose Water Works first supplied San Jose with dependable water in 1866, delivering water from local artesian wells, and is the oldest privately-owned water company in the state. It constructed this handsome Spanish Colonial Revival/Art Moderne office building on the bank of the Guadalupe River in 1934, replacing an earlier wood structure built in 1888. The building features playful water-inspired ornamentation, including an Art Deco ship’s prow above the main entrance.
The building was designed by Binder & Curtis, one of San Jose’s leading architectural firms in the early 20th century. Other landmark buildings by the architects include the Hotel Montgomery (211 S. First St, 1911) and the Civic Auditorium (145 W. San Carlos St., 1934). Many other examples of their work have unfortunately been demolished.
Now known as the San Jose Water Company, the utility today covers 138 square miles and serves about one million customers. In 2008, the company relocated to newer headquarters on Taylor Street and sold the building to Adobe. It is now owned by Google and is currently undergoing renovations for use as a future community center.