The Endangered 8: 

San José's Most Threatened Architectural and Cultural Landmarks of 2022

Diridon Station

Location:

65 Cahill Street

Date:

Built 1935

Architect:

John H. Christie

Threat:

Redevelopment

Designed by architect John H. Christie for the Southern Pacific Railroad, Diridon Station is the city’s historic front door and the Bay Area’s grandest, best-preserved historic railroad depot. Yet current schematic plans for an expanded transportation complex envision the station’s complete demolition or relocation, with no corresponding analysis of preservation alternatives or viable receiver sites. 


While PAC*SJ acknowledges that significant future station expansion is necessary, we believe that this modernization can and must include preservation and adaptive reuse of the existing historic station structure. This effort will obviously require careful planning and close coordination with other elements of the station redesign, and must be planned in tandem with these other elements— not after these other elements are already set in stone.


Preservation and adaptive reuse of historic train stations have become bedrock strategies for urban redevelopment and place-making efforts in towns and cities across the globe. Even today's most celebrated new multi-modal transit centers, including Denver’s ultra-modern and award-winning Union Station, have included the preservation of historic resources as fundamental elements of their design. San Jose should demand nothing less for Diridon Station, and must be proactive, comprehensive, and publicly-transparent in its planning efforts to do so.

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