San Jose decades: The 2000s

From the tallest residential apartment building in San Jose to the Bill Walsh Legacy Game, we’re taking San Jo back to the ‘00s.

A skyline view of San Jose from the east foothills, showing downtown, Lake Cunningham Park, Reid Hillview County airport, and east side suburbia.

A view from the east foothills of San Jose looking downtown, circa 2009.

Photo by Michael

In the beginning of the millennium, Britney + boy bands dominated the charts, the Toby Maguire “Spider-Man” films ruled the box office, and everyone had a LiveJournal (even if we didn’t want to admit it) — but what was going on in San Jose?

We’re back with another decade of San Jose’s history, and this time, we’re traveling back to the 2000s.

📈 Population: 894,943
🗳️ Mayors: Ron Gonzales (1999-2007), Chuck Reed (2007-2015)

San Jose City Hall + Rotunda with flagpoles in the foreground.

The City Hall Rotunda in Downtown San Jose.

Photo by SJtoday staff

2000 — The Burbank Cinema on South Bascom Avenue was shut down. Downtown’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library hosted its groundbreaking ceremony.

2001 — The Improv Comedy Club signed a 10-year lease for the Jose Theatre, the oldest in San Jose, and opened a year later.

2002 — Symphony Silicon Valley was founded. An 8-alarm fire ripped through Santana Row during construction — considered the largest fire in San Jose’s history.

2003 — The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library opened as largest joint university + city library west of the Mississippi. Local popular bar The Wagon Wheel was demolished.

2004 — The historic California Theatre reopened. After closing in 2002, Alma Bowl was torn down for a residential development.

2005 — The current San Jose City Hall Rotunda was built. Downtown San Jose hosted its inaugural Grand Prix of the 2005 Champ Car World Series and attracted 62,000+ fans.

A very pleased Norman Y. Mineta receiving the 2006 Presidential Medal of Freedom by former president George W. Bush, who stands behind him, affixing the medal.

San Jose’s Norman Y. Mineta served as the U.S. Secretary of Transportation from 2001-2006.

2006 — San Josean Norman Y. Mineta received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The A Slice of New York pizzeria opened.

2007 — A 4-alarm fire destroyed the historic, 126-year-old Donner-Houghton House. The SJSU Spartans rivalry game against Stanford was renamed “The Bill Walsh Legacy Game,” after his death earlier that year.

2008 — The 88-residential apartment building was constructed, and at the time, was the tallest building in San Jose.

2009 — Legendary SJ tattoo artist Yun Bing Kwan, aka Pinky, retired. Pruneyard’s Camera 7 movie theater (now Pruneyard Cinemas) converted its auditoriums to Sony 4K digital projection, becoming the only theater in the South Bay with that capability at the time.

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