HJDS Travel Group

San Jose’s Top Monuments

by on Feb.01, 2013, under Travel

  • Sumo

San Jose is filled with many monuments. A few of these San Jose monuments are filled with history, while some others are rather new. Many monuments in San Jose can be viewed on the way around the city. Be sure to keep a look out for them on your trip.


This 8 foot tall charcoal grey, synthesised stone snake statue built by William Kreysler & Associates, based mostly on a model provided by Robert Graham, cost $500,000 to construct. The word Quetzalcoatl means Quetzal serpent and is founded upon a similar monument at the Nation's Museum in Mexico. The statue is located at the south end of the Square de Cesar E. Chavez, just off South Market Street. This monument pays tribute to the time of the Aztecs and also reminds us of the Sapnish influence that founded San Jose


At 101 Paseo de San Antonio Oionos stands in front of the San Jose Repertory Theater. The massive brown and white statue was designed by Doug Hollis. It points the way to the primary entrance to the theater, which produces about six performances each year. This monument offers an interesting spectacle waiting for the show to start or during intermission.

Figure Holding the Sun

Located at 110 South Market Street in front of the San Jose Museum of Art is the built steel statue. The statue was designed by Italo Scanga. It was placed here in 1988. The statue has many colours that resemble the colours of the sunrise and sunset. The statue features a person holding a huge circle.

Brown Bear

San Jose monuments also include the Brown Bear Statue found in front of the Center for Performing Arts. The white sculpture has a plaque on the side of it that says it's a brown bear, even though it seems like a polar bear to several visitors due to its white colour. The statue was designed by Benny Bufano. The statue it not as detailed which makes it more of a modern kind of art and unique in appearance. Interestingly Benny Bufano created another bear sculpture which he named polar bear, and it is brown in colour.

McKinley Was Here Statue

4 months before he was rubbed out, US President William McKinley addressed a large crowd in St. James Park. After his dying, the city paid San Francisco based sculptor, Rupert Schmidt, $13,000 to create a statue that commemorates this fact. The statue has been in place since Feb 21, 1903. You will not want to miss the statue at the park, they are a piece of artistry and importance that just add a special feel to this park, and allow a small piece of history to be saved for future generations.

Henry Naglee Statue

Henry Naglee made a fortune in San Jose by making wine. After his death in 1915, his daughters paid to have a monument built in St. James Park to recollect their dad. The monument resembles a tombstone with info on it about the life of Henry Naglee.

Caerea Londerson has been fascinated by San Jose monuments for a number of years. She has written op-eds and editorial pieces for many online publications. For full information about landmarks in San Jose please feel free to visit her site.

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