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save the "sphinx"!

Bank of California

170 Park Avenue, San Jose CA

Designed 1971, Opened 1973

César Pelli for Gruen Associates

Nicknamed the "Sphinx" for its sculptural concrete entranceway perhaps inspired by the ancient Egyptian monument, the Bank of California is one of San José's most important Brutalist landmarks. Learn more about its history and current status HERE, and please sign our petition below to save it from demolition!  

To Mayor Sam Liccardo, Planning Director Rosalynn Hughey, Members of the San José City Council, and Members of the San José Historic Landmarks Commission:

I support PAC*SJ’s efforts to save the Bank of California (170 Park Center Plaza) from demolition. The proposed redevelopment of Cityview Plaza should not rob San José of this one-of-a-kind architectural resource. Designed by internationally significant architect César Pelli as head designer for Gruen Associates, this Brutalist gem deserves to be designated an official City Landmark. The building can and should be incorporated into any new project on the Cityview Plaza site, which is large enough to accommodate significant new construction without sacrificing one of the city’s most distinctive buildings of the 1970s, a pivotal decade in the history of San José. The city’s Envision 2040 General Plan emphasizes the advantages of an architecturally diverse downtown composed of “an eclectic mix of historic architecture side by side to award-winning contemporary urban design.” There is no better opportunity to demonstrate the City’s commitment to this vision than now. The proposed demolition of this historic, iconic building is both shortsighted and unnecessary, and I urge the City to instead support its preservation.


OPTIONAL: How would you like to see the building reused? (Examples: Visitors Center, Museum/Gallery, Bar/Restaurant, Pop-up Market, etc.)

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