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[whitespace] New name is one of many changes at SJ history museum

Willow Glen--The San Jose Historical Museum made history on June 20, when San Jose City Council members voted unanimously to change the museum's name to "History Park."

History Park President and CEO Davis Crosson, says he wants the park's name to reflect the physical reality of the outdoor museum located inside Kelley Park.

History Park has served as San Jose's historical museum for 29 years. Located in the south end of Kelley Park, 1650 Senter Rd., the museum is a gated, outdoor seasonal park with historic and replica houses and buildings.

To change the name of the San Jose historic landmark, a Kelley Park task force did some fancy footwork to come up with the perfect name.

The task force was driven by a new mission: "History San Jose involves diverse audiences in exploring the varieties of human experience that contribute to the continuing history of San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley."

Aside from market research and public hearings held to choose the new name, Crosson said the name "History Park" will provide strong and accurate site identify. It will build on the family market already served by the neighborhood facilities.

History Park will also reflect a new focus by accommodating a variety of cultural organizations and by establishing a facility in the heart of the downtown that will better serve in the history museum function, Crosson said.

Since 1971, through purchases and donations the museum has collected a wealth of historical materials. The items include 18th century maps, county records, photographs, documents, wheeled vehicles, farm equipment, household artifacts, art and some of the oldest municipal records in the state.

Crosson says he wants History Park to draw the same crowds as some of the nearby attractions, such as San Jose Giants Stadium, Spartan Stadium, Happy Hollow Park and Zoo and the Japanese Friendship Garden.

Along with its new name, park officials also plan to adopt a living history interpretation for History Park that will incorporate interactive programming. In addition, officials want to focus on special events, create an education center for children and build a community cultural campus.

Following city council approval of the park's name change, park officials already are creating new brochures, signs and memorabilia with the new name.
Chantal Lamers

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Web extra to the June 29-July 5, 2000 issue of Metro.

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