San Jose decades: The 1990s

We’re turning back the clock to the 1990s in the great 408.

An aerial view of downtown San Jose on a postcard.

Does downtown’s skyline look any different today?

Photo via History San José

At the end of the second millenium, grunge + hip-hop took over the radio stations, “Titanic” became the first billion dollar box office hit, and the internet was in its infant days — but what was going on in the great 408 at the time?

We’re back with another decade of San Jose’s history, and this time, we’re traveling back to the 1990s.

📈 Population: 782,225
🗳️ Mayors: Tom McEnery (1983-1991), Susan Hammer (1991-1999)

An early sketch design of the most recent Terminal A construction.

An early drawing of San Jose Mineta Airport’s Terminal A.

Photo via History San José

1990 — San Jose Mineta Airport’s new Terminal A opened.

1991 — The San Jose Sharks began play at the Cow Palace. Moffett Field hosted the Navy Air Show, attracting 1 million people. Construction began on the San Jose Arena (now-SAP Center).

1992 — Mark’s Hot Dogs became a San Jose Historical Landmark. The Chinmaya Mission San Jose was founded.

1993 — The now-SAP Center opened. San Jose Mercury News hosted its 16th Annual 10K Race & 5K Walk. Plaza Park was renamed Plaza de Cesar Chavez. The historic Fallon House opened to the public.

A San Jose postcard from the 1990s showing the SAP Center + Diridon Station.

This image of Diridon Station was on a 1990s-era postcard.

Photo via History San Jose

1994 — The Southern Pacific Depot was restored + renamed Diridon Station. The Plumed Serpent was installed at Plaza de Cesar Chavez. Steve Harwell (RIP) + drummer Kevin Coleman founded Smash Mouth.

1995 — The Guadalupe River flooded Highway 87 Santa Clara Street underpass, submerging landmarks like the SAP Center, De Anza Hotel, and Henry’s Hi-Life in about ~4 ft of water.

1996 — The San Jose Clash played its inaugural Major League Soccer (MLS) season.

Screen Shot 2022-04-05 at 3.15.03 PM

Popular Disney comedy “Flubber” included scenes filmed in a San Jose State classroom + the Rose Garden district.

Screen capture: Walt Disney Studios via Youtube

1997 — The Portuguese Historical Museum opened. Disney’s “Flubber,” which starred Robin Williams and included scenes of San Jose State + the Rose Garden neighborhood, was released.

1998 — The Tech Interactive opened. History San José was incorporated as an independent nonprofit.

1999 — MLS renamed Clash as the San Jose Earthquakes. Black Sabbath, The Rolling Stones, Barry Manilow, and the Backstreet Boys held concerts at the then-San Jose Arena.

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