Tower Hall

Tower Hall is a building at San Jose State University, which is located in Downtown San Jose, CA. It is one of the oldest and most recognizable buildings on campus. Construction began in the mid-1850s when San Jose State was established. The head architect, Luis Villacana, was known for his astounding work in Mexico. He was hired to make a building that paid homage to San Jose’s Chicano roots while also embracing the direction that the university was heading towards. This historic building was completed in 1858 and was immediately known as the centerpiece of the campus. People began to line up to experience the breathtaking view of the campus from the top of the tower.

Decades passed and the tower began to deteriorate at a quick pace. San Jose State University (SJSU) and a few local organizations quickly set a plan to gather funds to begin a renovation project. Eventually the school acquired the essential funds and was able to begin the next chapter of the iconic building’s history. Shortly after the renovation was complete, disaster struck. California was hit with the worst drought in state history. All of the vegetation in San Jose State’s campus began to perish. The drought lasted for 5 years and by the time it ended, there was no sign of plants. The beautiful landscape was unrecognizable and it was believed that nothing would grow there again. Then one morning flowers began to blossom and the entire campus was enveloped with stunning vegetation. To this day, the mystery of how the plants emerged still puzzles scholars and citizens alike. There is a local tale which states a spirit of nature resides at the top of the tower and patiently waits until the next time it is needed.

Joshua Flores