What is the San Jose Light Tower Corporation?

The San Jose Light Tower Corporation (SJLTC) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2017 by passionate, local-community leaders with the bold vision of creating an artistic and iconic landmark. The founders work closely with an engaged and diverse group of professionals including an Advisory Council with 65 active participants and over 200 current contributors. We intend to donate this legendary gift to the City of San Jose.

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Are you building a replica of the original San Jose Electric Light Tower?

No. The original inspiration for the project was the San Jose Electric Light Tower, constructed in 1881. The Ideas Competition entrants will be encouraged to develop new designs that respect the natural environment and embrace the extraordinary spirit of Silicon Valley innovation.

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What is San Jose Light Tower Corporation’s goal?

The primary goal of the project is to create a new, distinctive, world-class public landmark in downtown San Jose, Silicon Valley’s largest urban center. It will be a gathering place that produces civic pride and spurs economic development. Our purpose is to inspire future generations with an urban masterpiece. This powerful and enduring icon will be the place every visitor MUST SEE when coming to Silicon Valley—and where locals go often because they LOVE it. San Jose is the largest city in Silicon Valley, an area that fuels the imagination of the world as the heart of innovation and technology—yet the region is still without a bold iconic landmark to define itself. Given its Mediterranean climate, a highly educated and diverse work force, proximity to world-class universities, and access to immense financial capital, the region is poised to make a statement that defines and unites the citizenry’s technological prowess in harmony with our natural surroundings.

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Where will this project be located?

In March 2019 the San Jose City Council will consider Arena Green as the project location. Arena Green is the park on West Santa Clara Street adjacent to SAP Center, a popular sports and entertainment venue. This site is in downtown San Jose’s Guadalupe River Park, a short walk from Diridon Station (the future “Grand Central Station of the West”) and the VTA Light Rail system. The location was recommended as the best option following an independent study of seven downtown sites conducted by Steinberg Hart.

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Will this project impact the Guadalupe River Park and its wildlife?

We are working closely with the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy to ensure that this project enhances their current efforts and improves this significant area of San Jose. Our design will respect the environment including the riparian corridor.

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Is your project connected to GOOGLE and the SAP Center?

The proposed project site is Arena Green, which is located across the street from SAP Center and the proposed GOOGLE expansion. While we currently have no formal connection with these organizations, we intend to collaborate with all of our neighbors.

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Who will design this project?

An international Ideas Competition is being developed to solicit ideas from around the world. This competition is open to students, artists, architects, landscape architects, urban planners, engineers, designers, and place-makers globally.

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Who will choose the final project design?

The diverse jury will include place-makers and design experts from many professions. All jurors will be paid a stipend. Jurors may not have any ties to entrants.

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How do I submit an Ideas Competition design?

Ideas Competition details will be announced in April 2019. There is no fee to enter.

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What is the timeline for this project to be built?

The Ideas Competition is scheduled to be announced in March 2019 with a final design chosen in Fall of 2019. Once a final concept has been chosen, the design team and contractor will work closely with local, state and federal agencies, environmental organizations, and community groups to assure compliance with all rules and regulations. We are currently projecting completion in 2021.

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How much will it cost?

The site selection study and Ideas Competition are fully funded through private donations already made to SJLTC. The construction budget will be established based on the city council approved project design.

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Who will pay for this project?

Through exceptional and enthusiastic fundraising efforts, the SJLTC has successfully privately funded all phases of this project thus far by developing strong working partnerships with local government, community groups, and philanthropic organizations. The upcoming Ideas Competition is fully funded and the detailed timeline for this process will be posted as soon as the site is approved. A capital campaign to fund construction of the project will begin once a design for the project is selected.

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Is the City of San Jose contributing money to this project? Are tax dollars paying for any of it?

SJLTC plans to fully pay for construction of the project and provide the project as a gift to the City of San Jose.

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Is the City of San Jose giving away a public park to a non-profit?

No. SJLTC plans to fully pay for construction of the project and provide the project as a gift to the City of San Jose.

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Who will pay to maintain and operate the project once it has been built?

SJLTC will develop an operations and maintenance plan for the project in collaboration with city staff once the project design is complete.

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Do you have a mailing list so I can stay informed on project updates?

Please click here to join our mailing list.

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How can I contribute?

We welcome and appreciate your participation. Please click here to donate!

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Please Note

Answers are subject to change due to ongoing developments.

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