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.


UPDATE MARCH 2022:

On March 1, San José City Council voted unanimously to approve a memorandum introduced by District 3 Councilmember Raul Peralez affirming the historic significance of Diridon Station and directing City staff to prioritize preservation feasibility analysis as part of the next phase of the Diridon Integrated Station Concept planning process. PAC*SJ thanks Councilmember Peralez, his fellow councilmembers, and San José Department of Transportation staff for engaging with and responding to PAC*SJ’s continued concerns about the station’s still-uncertain future. We also thank the 600+ people who have signed our "Don't Demo Diridon" petition to date-- your voice is being heard!

 

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