SIA Annual Meeting 2008 – San José, California

Change Is the Constant

Whether it’s the geological change that has shaped the entire Bay Area, or the constant pace of innovation and daring, nothing better describes the Bay Area and Silicon Valley than “Change is the Constant”, the theme for the 2008 SIA National Conference. Change takes many forms: economic, environmental, technological and social, all of which occur at an ever increasing pace here. The challenge for Industrial Archeology is how to capture this dynamic environment, and to utilize the forces of change to further the research and public outreach that are the core of the SIA mission.

Come to San José, where Change Is the Constant!

Tour Information
Change is the Constant applies to the planned tours as well.  The information about the tours is the best available and will be updated here as things inevitably change.  Subscribe to the SIA 2008 RSS feed to be notified of updates.  Various factors may even lead to the reluctant cancellation of a planned tour, so be sure to indicate your second and third choices when you register.

All tours on Thursday and Friday will depart from a location near The Sainte Claire. Your registration packet will have detailed directions. Schedules are fairly tight, and the buses cannot wait for stragglers. Be on time! Some of the Thursday tours will use public transit, VTA bus passes will be furnished to those who have signed up in advance.

Some of the Friday tours involve travelling to sites rather far from San José. Traffic is predictably bad, and may delay returning to San José.  Try not to plan anything that has a tight schedule Friday evening.

The informal tours on Sunday will start from specific locations, most are coffee shops or equivalents. You are responsible to get to the starting point.  VTA bus passes will be provided to those who have signed up in advance.

Earlybird Tours – Thursday, May 29, 2008 1:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Earlybird Options
It is possible to leave Eastern or Midwest destinations early on Thursday and reach San José by mid-day. We have several Conference  sponsored options for Thursday, as well as unstructured sightseeing on your own.   First, there will be four mini-tours, described below, on Thursday afternoon that hit highlights of some of the Friday tours. To keep the Conference costs down, many of these mini-tours will utilize public transit. (The full scale Friday tours will use private buses and will go to places requiring overly long public transit journeys.) You will receive a VTA (the local public transit agency) day pass at registration if you have signed up for any of the tours.

Another option is “IA on VTA”.  We have prepared notes on the industries and some of their histories along some of the VTA light rail lines. These are similar to the Capitol Corridor notes on the  Knight Chapter web site. Sign up for IA on VTA and you will receive a VTA day pass at registration and the notes for several different trips.  Pick one and  get a view of  Silicon Valley without incurring the expense and hassle of renting a car and parking.

Of course, there are lots of things to do and places to see independently of  the Conference. Just be back at The Sainte Claire by about 5:30 for shuttle bus service to the opening reception at History San José in Kelley Park.

Earlybird Tours – 1:00PM – 4:30PM, Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tour 1 – Greening of Silicon Valley Mini-Tour – Tour Guide
THIS TOUR IS NOW FULL. This tour is limited to 18 people due to the stop at the GreenTeam Material Recovery Facility, where recyclable material in San José trash is recovered in a state of the art, single stream recycling plant.  We will also stop at LEED certified green buildings.

Tour 2 – Rediscovering the Industrial Heritage of Santa Clara
Alas, for several reasons, this tour has been cancelled. Those who signed up for it will be contacted individually.

Tour 3 – Japantown and Heinlenville – Tour Guide
San José has one of only three remaining Japantown (“Nihonmachi”) areas in the US.  The area has deep industrial roots, though only traces remain, so we’ll need to use imagination to envisage the bustling activity at harvest time as the area was a center of the canning and food industries.  The Heinlenville block was a Chinatown site replacing older sites which had burned.  Due to the hostility towards Chinese at the time, Heinlenville was protected by walls.

Tour 4 – Cannery Life – Tour Guide
This tour covers a few highlights of the Friday Valley of Heart’s Delight tour.  It will take us to some of the canneries and related industrial sites near downtown San José.  It draws upon the research done by History San José in the development of web materials in collaboration with KB Homes, who is developing housing on several of the sites.

Tour 5 – DIY IA on VTA
For those who like to do things on their own, we have prepared notes about the industries and sites visible from some of the VTA light rail routes. These will take about an hour or so round trip.  Both routes end in pleasant small towns (Campbell and Mountain View [coming soon]) with many interesting shops and restaurants. These notes are “works in progress”, check back to get the latest info.  Like the rest of the Conference, we’d encourage you to put your images up on Flickr, and for these, add the tag “iaonvta”, so after the Conference, folks can share your insights and images.

Friday Tours – May 30, 2008 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Tour A – Over the Hill

Tour A – Over the Hill – Tour Guide
Folks in Silicon Valley refer to Santa Cruz as being “over the hill”, as one must cross over the Santa Cruz mountains to get there , though the summit is only about 1,800 feet  above sea level.  We’ll visit the following sites:

Roaring Camp and Big Trees Railroad. This former narrow guage logging railroad  operates steam locomotives (usually one of two Shays, but occasionally their Heisler) through second growth stands of majestic redwoods. A few trees are old growth, and first sprouted as much as 2,000 years ago. We’ll have a tour of the shops and ample time to look around at the remains of a steam powered saw mill.  Adjacent to the railroad is Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, which has an excellent, recently re-done visitor center.  There will be enough time for a visit, but don’t miss the train or the bus! One of the exhibits describes the lime industry, a later stop.

Next, we’ll travel over to the coast via Highway 9 along the San Lorenzo River, with commentary on some of the historic industries along the way. We won’t be making any stops, so we can be on time to visit the CEMEX cement plant in Davenport.   The plant was originally constructed in 1906, and over the years has been completely modernized, and is now one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly cement plants in the US.  Knight Chapter member Bob Piwarzyk is co-author of Davenport Cement Centennial, which will be available for $20, with the proceeds benefiting the Davenport Jail Restoration Fund.

The final stop will be the Cowell Lime Works Historic District on the campus of the University of California Santa Cruz. Recently added to the National Register of Historic Places, the site is the remains of a vertically integrated, self supporting lime works.  One can see the evolution of the process of lime production from the early batch kilns to a continuous kiln.  Bob Piwarzyk is also a co-author of the recently published Lime Kiln Legacies which includes details of the historic district  as well as a wealth of information about the industry.

Tour B –  Port of Oakland, Kaiser Shipyards, SS Red Oak Victory

Tour B – Port of Oakland, Rosie the Riveter, Red Oak, and Richmond – Tour Guide

Middle Harbor Shorline Park, Port of Oakland
Our first stop will be Middle Harbor Shoreline Park in the middle of the Port of Oakland.  The park was the site of the Oakland Naval Supply Center, which was the main supply depot for the Pacific Fleet in WWII and beyond.  It has been transformed into a park with a rich mix of history, environmental and contemporary industry on display. There are very few places where one can see a busy container port in operation, close up. We will have Celia McCarthy from the Port of Oakland there to help interpret the site.

Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historic Park
Our next stop will be Richmond,  site of the Kaiser Shipyards, which produced an amazing 747 ships during WWII. This, and other wartime production efforts required dramatic changes in the workforce, symbolized by Rosie the Riveter, women and minorities at work in traditionally male jobs. Almost no riveting was used on these ships, so it probably should be Wanda the Welder. The tour will visit several of the sites that make up the Rosie the Riveter – World War II Home Front National Historic Park. Kaiser also pioneered many social innovations, such as company provided health care and child care. The tour will include visits to sites associated with these and other social innovations.

S.S. Red Oak Victory

The tour will visit the S.S. Red Oak Victory, one of three surviving Victory Ships. Red Oak Victory was built at the Kaiser Shipyards, and served in WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. She is being restored to operation. Of particular note is that much of her engine room equipment was manufactured by Hendy Ironworks in Sunnyvale. Along the way to the ship, we’ll go around the massive Hyundai delivery port, we may see a “floating parking garage” being emptied in a steady stream of cars.

Kaiser Shipyards
Only a few features of the once massive Kaiser Shipyard complex survive, though the Park Service has created evocative displays and interpretation. We’ll visit the surviving buildings and view the whirly crane used to move material around the shipyard. The fascinating art moderne General Warehouse will be a stop.

Ford Assembly Plant
Richmond was and is also the home to many other industries. One of the most interesting from an IA standpoint is the Ford assembly plant designed by Albert Kahn, his only building west of the Mississippi. Opened in 1931 as a branch assembly plant, it was converted to military use during the war. It returned to automotive use until Ford opened a new assembly plant in Milpitas in 1955. The Richmond plant is being adaptively reused as housing, offices and retail. The Milpitas plant is now the Great Mall of the Bay Area which we’ll pass on the way to Richmond.

Other Sites
If time permits (unlikely) there are several other interesting IA sites in the area.

Rosie the Riveter / WWII Home Front National Historic Park (multiple sites)
S.S. Red Oak Victory
Ford Plant

Additional Web Resources
Self Guided Driving Tour

Tour C – South Bay Extractive Industries

Tour C – South Bay Extractive Industries – Tour Guide

We will begin with a tour of Alviso, now a part of San José, but previously an independent city which was the port for the Santa Clara Valley.  Remnants remain of the days when wheat, mercury from New Almaden and the salt harvested from the Bay were loaded aboard flat bottom scooners to be transported around the Bay and beyond.  We’ll take a look at the ruins of the Thomas Chew’s Bayside Canning Co., the largest Chinese owned cannery in the US.

Salt Harvesting and Processing
Then we’ll take a journey to another very old industry, the harvesting of salt on San Francisco Bay.  Depending on your route of flight, you may have seen the multicolored evaporation ponds which cover much of the south part of the Bay. We’ll take a look at these from a vantage point in the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge in Fremont, where we may be able to see the historic (launched in 1936) dredge Mallard II at work building up the levee’s that form the ponds.  We’ll drive by the Cargill (former Leslie) salt processing operation with gleaming white piles of salt awaiting further processing and packaging.  Along the way we’ll have a “virtual” process tour developed by Cargill on salt production. Mark Kurlansky’s book, Salt, is an excellent discussion of the history of salt production around the world.  Work is underway to return over 16,000 acres, an area larger than Manhatten, of salt evaporation ponds back to a more natural state over a 50 year period.

New Almaden Mercury Mines
The mercury mines of the New Almaden area of San José were in production from the mid 1800’s through the 1900’s and produced an astounding amount of mercury, much of which was used in gold mining. The tour will include a visit to the New Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum at Casa Grande, a van tour of the Mine Hill area with County Park Rangers, and a walking tour of the town of New Almaden and its historic buildings.

The mine complex included several smelters over the years. The van tour will stop at the ruins of a Gould rotary smelter. The smokestack from the older smelter is still standing, but was damaged in the 1987 Loma Prieta earthquake, and is off limits to visitors.
Mine Hill was also the home of a CCC Camp which is memorialized with a plaque. We’ll stop by the entrances to several of the old mines (now sealed for safety reasons), and other historic industrial and mining sites.

The town of New Almaden along the banks of Los Alamitos Creek housed the leaders of the mining company, including the mine superintendent in the Casa Grande. Most of these are now private homes, but we’ll walk around and imagine what this area was like in the mine’s heyday.
Here’s the NPS summary of the New Almaden. For a fictional account of life in New Almaden and other Western mining towns, the Pulitzer Prize winning, Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner is an engrossing read.

Tour D – Valley of Heart’s Delight, Santa Clara Valley Before High Tech

This Tour has been cancelled.
Tour D – Before High Tech, Valley of Heart’s Delight
This tour will concentrate on the food industry, the industry that dominated the Santa Clara Valley economy until the post war era. Sites include heritage orchards, food processing plant sites, and sites of business that serviced food processing such as can manufacturing, paper milling and label making.

The only evidence of the agriculture heritage of what’s now called Silicon Valley (almost a misnomer now)  is in the names of the roads – like Blossom Valley Road and Pruneridge Avenue. The names of other major roads are the names of Rancheros like Berryessa and Pacheco, and farmers like Gish and Story.

History San José – Fruit Barn
The tour informally starts on Thursday evening, May 29, as during the opening reception at History San José, the Fruit Barn will be open with it’s exhibit entitled “Valley of Heart’s Delight”.  This exhibit gives an overall orientation to the tour.

Lick Mill Historic Site
The earliest commercial agriculture was wheat farming and there are remnants of several historic mills in the area. There is the Vallejo Flour Mill in Fremont (1853). Los Gatos has Forbes Mill (1854), which is now a museum.

One of the most colorful stories belongs to the site of the former Lick Mill in Santa Clara, our first stop on this tour. The site, which contains the house and the old granary, is stuck in the middle of an apartment complex, so you need to know how to find it.

The James Lick story is fascinating. The long (better) version is here. He was born in Fredericksburg, Pennsylvania, called Stumpstown at the time, in 1796 and began as an apprentice cabinet maker. After putting a young girl into a “family way” in 1817, he attempted to do the right thing, but girl’s father, a mill owner, rebuffed him because he wasn’t rich. He moved to Baltimore and took up piano making. In 1821, hearing that pianos were being imported to South America, he moved to Argentina. Returning from a trip to Europe, the boat he was on was captured in was and he became a POW in present day Uruguay, but later he escaped and returned to Buenos Aires on foot. By 1832, he had amassed a fortune and returned home, only to find that his old love had married many years before and didn’t want to see him. He returned to South America, living in both Chile and Peru. In late 1847 he sailed to California, arriving in January with his tools, $30,000 in gold and 600 pounds of chocolate from his friend Domingo Ghirardelli. He sold the chocolate quickly and advised his friend of the opportunity. He bought up a lot of land quickly, just before the Gold Rush.
At 58, he left his San Francisco businesses with an agent and moved to the mill site, living in a cabin. He spent a fortune building the mill, which came to known as the “Mahogany Mill” and “Lick’s Folly”. On completion, he sent pictures to Stumpstown to prove that he had a better mill. He sent for his son, John, whom he had never met and they shared the cabin near the mill. To try to please John, he built the mansion, but John preferred the cabin where he stayed for eight years before moving briefly to Alviso (part of the tour) before returning to Pennsylvania. Lick himself lost interest and didn’t finish furnishing the mansion. Lick returned to San Francisco where he built a fine hotel, the Lick House, which was destroyed in the Great Fire that followed the 1906 earthquake. He was generous in his own way – one project he had planned to give San José was a replica of the conservatory at Kew Gardens, but he never had it uncrated when he was miffed by a local newspaper. After his death the pieces were purchased by a group in San Francisco who made from them the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. At his death he was one of the richest men in the state, including ownership of all of Catalina Island. He bequeathed funds to build Lick Observatory above San José, where he is buried. A section of Highway 101 (please don’t say “The 101” in Northern California) in the city of San Francisco is called The James Lick Freeway and there are several other places bearing his name.

According to the book, “The Valley of Santa Clara – Historic Buildings, 1792-1920” by Phyllis Filiberti Butler, 1975, Published by the Junior League, Lick put the mill up for sale when John left California.  The asking price was $250,000.  There were no takers since the yearly rains usually flooded the property.  In 1873 he gave the mill to the Thomas Paine Society in Boston, which immediately sold it for only $18,000.  By then, the valley had converted from wheat growing to orchards, so the new owners, Pfister and Waterman, converted the mill to paper making.  Much of the paper produced was the specialized paper for wrapping fruit for shipment.

About a mile north of the mill is an interesting city park, Ulistac, where Santa Clara is preserving a stretch of the Guadalupe River and restoring it to a riparian environment.  (But I digress…)

Alviso – Thomas Foon Chew & Bay Side Cannery
Alviso, located at the bottom of San Francisco Bay, was the original port for the Santa Clara Valley is the next stop on the tour.  Township description 1860 & 1870 Census is at this site.  Here’s another good resource.

Alviso was acquired, rather controversially, by the City of San José in 1968.  Before the Gold Rush, it serviced Mission Santa Clara, San José, and the New Almaden mines (but that is a different tour).  Before the railroad came through in 1864, steamboats came down the bay, both for trade and as ferries.

As agriculture developed, the ground water was overused and the Northern part of the Valley, including Alviso, subsided, taking the land below sea level.  Levies promised in the original “consolidation” into San José have only been completed in the last several years.  Also the Bay itself silted up due to the salt ponds built near Redwood City and Fremont.  (The ponds are being removed over time, and the lower bay is being restored, but that’s also another story…)

One other aside – in 1890 “New Chicago” was platted out in Alviso, a scheme of P. H. Wheeler to recover when his watch-making business failed in San Diego.  The new factory in Alviso was only in operation for one day!

That same year, Sai Yin-Chew opened Precita Cannery in San Francisco.  He moved to Alviso following the 1906 Earthquake, renaming it to be The Bay Side Cannery.  He started at the site of the Wheeler Watch Company.  His son, Thomas Foon Chew joined his father in the business the first year, eventually taking over.  He built boarding houses for 100 Chinese workers.  Other workers commuted in from Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Mountain View and Milpitas during the canning season.

It became the third largest cannery in the world after Libby and DelMonte.  Chew built the levy to protect the property.  He was called the “Asparagus King” for first canning it.  He added canneries at Mayfield (California St. of Palo Alto) and in the Delta.  Products canned in Alviso included spinach, asparagus, cherries, apricots, plums, peaches, pears, tomatoes, catsup, tomato sauce, hot sauce, tomato puree, fish sauce, and fruit cocktail.  As the business grew, people of other ancestries were hired in the 1920s  – Italian, Portuguese, and “Hindu”.

He was the first Chinese man in California to join the masons.  He was the third richest man in California when he died in 1931 at the age of 42.  The cannery was closed in 1936.

The cannery itself is a wonderful ruin, showing the expansions that were made to the building over time.  There are a total of seven extant buildings that were part of the property.

Sunnyvale – Heritage Orchard and the Libby Cannery
As this is written, the Sunnyvale Heritage Museum, currently in a park that was built on the site of Murphy Mansion (the first home in Sunnyvale), is in the process of moving to the Civic Center near the heritage orchard and display.

This museum currently houses historic pictures and a display of canning implements.  The new museum is a reconstruction of the historic home.  It should be complete by the time of the Conference

The Heritage Orchard, which is an apricot orchard, has a display on Sunnyvale’s agricultural past and on fruit drying, packing and canning.

A drive-by is the site of the original Libby McNeil Libby Cannery started in 1906, once the largest cannery in the world.  The only thing that remains is the water tower.

A general history of the industry in Sunnyvale is in this 1922 document:

Overall Sunnyvale timeline is at this site:

This picture of children in the worker housing is in a set of lantern slides from all over California taken in the early 20th century.

If there is time, a stop at the Olson Cherry Stand is recommended.  The family began growing cherries in 1902 and opened the stand in 1931.  The original stand was torn down for development in 2002, but a new one was constructed.

Del Monte Cannery
We’ll drive by two new condominium developments that have just been erected on old cannery land just west of downtown San José.  At the old Del Monte Plant on Auzerais, the water tower and some walls have been left standing.  At ‘Del Monte 51’ near the train station, the developer incorporated some of the brick walls into the units after pressure to do so.  The CalPak Manager’s Office at 734 The Alameda is a City historic site.

The Del Monte Cannery was the last cannery open in San José.

A promo film for Del Monte –

Japantown Area –
Heinlenville, Mariani, Continental Can, Gordon Biersch, Tri Valley Packing
(Japantown is also a tour on Thursday and on Sunday morning.)

San José’s Japantown (Nihonmachi in Japanese) is one of only three remaining Japantowns in the US.   The area has deep industrial roots, though only traces remain, so we’ll need to use imagination to envisage the bustling activity at harvest time as the area was a center of the canning and food industries.
Heinlenville was a Chinatown built for the San José Chinese after the main Chinatown was burned in an arson fire.  There is a commemorative plaque on the Fairmont Hotel for the original town, but the site of Heinlenville until recently was a Maintenance Yard for the City of San José, bounded by Taylor, Jackson, Sixth and Seventh Streets.  Heinlenville was shut down due to failure to pay taxes in 1931.  Redevelopment of the block has just begun. A reconstruction of the Ng Shing Gung Temple from Heinlenville is at History San José.  More information on Heinlenville is at

The Japanese American Museum San José (JAMsj) is located on Fifth Street, but is closed to the public as a new building is being constructed.

Mariani Packing site is now occupied by two townhouse projects.  Here are pictures of the site just as it was being demolished in 2001.  Although some of the buildings are well preserved, there is no signage.  The water tower has been adaptively reused as a cell phome tower.

The company is now located in Vacaville.  History of the family and company –

Continental Can and Tri Valley Cannery operated on 10th Street north of Taylor.  There are remnants, including the “bridge to nowhere”.  Redevelopment is in the works. There are other sites where a can manufacturing plant is located adjacent to a cannery, such as the 3rd and Keyes block.  It was difficult and costly to transport empty cans very far.

Gordon Biersch, a modern lager brewery is on Taylor St.   It is no longer affiliated with the Gordon Biersch Restaurant in downtown San José but they do serve Gordon Biersch beer there.  A nice Märtzen after the tour is recommended.

FMC – Food Machinery Corporation
There isn’t much to see on the old property, which is now owned by BAE Systems, so the tour will be a drive-by.  It all started with John Bean’s force pump and the Bean Spray Pump Company.  His grandson, John David Crummey built up the business, and was the founder of Food Machinery Corporation by joining with Anderson-Barngrover.

Food Machinery provided a wide variety of machines for the growing and processing of fruit and vegetables. During the War, Food Machinery switched over to constructing LTVs, very near downtown on West Julian.  This site shows the remains of that plant.

The name changed to FMC in 1961.  Headquarters moved to Chicago in 1971.  The Bradley Fighting Vehicle was manufactured here in San José.  In aerial photos , one can clearly see the figure-8 shaped test track for the Bradley.

Tour E – Roots of High Tech

Tour E – Roots of High Tech – Tour Guide

This tour looks at the roots and early history of what would become known as Silicon Valley.  It utilizes two recently opened exhibits two illustrate the beginnings of two of the most important companies in the Valley, Hewlett-Packard and Intel.

Our dinner speaker at the Saturday, May 31th banquet will be David Laws, a semiconductor industry veteran, whose book Silicon Valley, Exploring the Communities Behind the Digital Revolution has been used in the planning of the tour. The book is included in your registration packet  as a souvenir for all attendees.

A Ride Up Central Expressway
We’ll travel North on Central Expressway from San José to Palo Alto with a few diversions for drive-bys and short stops.  This is the heart of the Silicon Valley so we’ll pass by some of the best known technical companies in the Valley, small companies just getting going and buildings originally constructed for high tech manufacturing companies, now being used for other things as the economy of the Valley has shifted away from manufacturing.  We’ll stop in Sunnyvale to see some of the products of one of the oldest manufacturing firms in the area, the Hendy Iron Works (now part of Northrup – Grumman) which moved to Sunnyvale after the 1906 quake. During WWII, Hendy produced many of the engines powering Liberty and Victory ships and ancillary equipment.

David and Lucile Packard – Los Altos History Museum
We’ll make a brief stop at the small Los Altos History Museum for their new exhibit on David and Lucile Packard.  In a very real sense, Packard and his partner, Bill Hewlett defined what would become Silicon Valley.  The Packards went on to use the fruits of very hard work to become some of the world’s leading philanthropists, while never losing the grounding that made them beloved by their extended community.

The garage on Addison Street in Palo Alto where Hewlett-Packard started is now owned by the Company if we can work out where to park, we’ll take a look, although it is not open to the public. It is interesting to note that the vacuum tube was invented by Dr. Lee DeForest only a few blocks and about 30 years away.

Stanford University
We will drive through the edge of Stanford University to the Stanford Research Park where we’ll take a drive-by look at some of the numerous high tech companies with offices there. The Research Park and the collaboration between academia and industry was largely the creation of one visionary, Prof. Fredrick Terman. Terman encouraged two of his former students, Hewlett and Packard, to take the ideas that they had and form a company.  He also saw that the research that Stanford faculty and students were doing could be commercialized and that having technical companies on the Stanford grounds would foster this.  Of particular note is the Palo Alto Research Center, started by the Xerox Corporation, which was responsible for an amazing amount of  technology in the computer industry.

For the Cal Bears fans, we’re not slighting this great University, Berkeley is just too far for this tour.  Berkeley faculty and graduates  also helped power the revolution in the area that was coined “Silicon Valley” by a newspaper article in 1971.  As the electronics industry in the Valley grew, it became a magnet for technical people from all over the world.  For example, there are at least four separate alumni organizations here for the various campuses of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)!

We’ll journey over to Mountain View for a visit to Moffett Field, a former Naval Air Station.  The central campus is a Registered Historic District. The base was established in 1931 to be the home of the airship USS Macon, which was housed in the massive Hanger 1. The Macon was a flying aircraft carrier which could launch and recover small planes to extend its range of search, it’s primary mission in Fleet Defense. We’ll make a short stop at the Moffett Field Historical Society to look at their excellent collection of artifacts and images relating to the base and the Macon.

The site was also an aircraf/spacecraftt research center, with a Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel (a National Historic Landmark) built at what is now the NASA Ames Research Center in 1950-55. Government and academic research lead to the creation of a large aerospace and defense industry here. After a briefing at the Ames Visitor’s Center (NASA no longer offers tours) on some of the history and current projects there, we’ll take a drive through the industrial complex South of the field.  Once home mainly to aerospace giant Lockheed, it now houses a diverse collection of companies in many fields, such as Yahoo!, Brocade Networks, Juniper Networks, and Interwoven (no, not a textile company, they provide content management products for creating web sites).  The area is also home to the aptly named WeirdStuff Warehouse which is an surplus electronic and computer equipment store beloved by Silicon Valley geeks.

Semiconductors – the Intel Story
Our final stop will be at the Intel Museum, located in the Robert Noyce Building on the Intel campus.  Noyce was one of the early innovators who helped create the modern semiconductor industry.  While working for Fairchild Semiconductor, which he helped found, he invented the integrated circuit (independently, Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments was also creating the first integrated circuit), and went on to be a founder of Intel.  Another Fairchild and Intel founder, Gordon Moore made the observation that semiconductor technology was roughly doubling in capacity (transistors on a chip) every 18 months, which has become to be called Moore’s Law, and is a driving force in the electronics industry.  (His actual statement was much milder, and was more of an observation on the economics of the nacent semiconductor industry.) Intel has lived by this law for over forty years, and we will see what it has meant in a series of excellently curated displays of the company’s history. We’ll also see what it takes to make semiconductor devices. including the elaborate drill to put on a “bunny suit” needed to enter the clean room of the fab.

Adjacent to the Noyce Building is a semiconductor manufacturing plant, a “fab”, called ” D2″.  In January, 2008, Intel announced that they would be ceasing operations at D2, marking a major transition in Silicon Valley history, as D2 was the last production fab in Silicon Valley.  Although the design of semiconductors devices is still a major activity, their manufacture has been moved to other places all over the world.

Tour F – How Green IS My Valley

This tour has been cancelled.
Tour F – How Green IS My Valley
The tour begins with a short walk to the new San José City Hall

The new city hall was completed in 2005 and it has LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Certification.  Here we will meet with representatives of the City Environmental Services Department who will described some of the many environmental initiatives that the city sponsors such as single stream recycling, concrete recycling, restrictions on urban sprawl, and gray water distribution for landscape gardening.

We plan to use a biodiesel powered bus for the tour!

Leaving City Hall, we’ll drive by Adobe’s Headquarters, a building with LEED Platinum status.  This was done through building renovation and other projects that cost $1.1 million and that save $1 million per year.  In 2006, it was called the greenest corporate building in America, which is some feat considering that others started with new construction.  Since the group is too big to tour Adobe, we’ll review information learned during the smaller Thursday tour.

Then we’ll travel to visit a Pinn Brothers green housing development that features solar power, energy efficient windows, and extra insulation.  The main question is which project we will visit – these properties have been selling quickly in an otherwise very slow housing market, and we’ll need to visit one that is still open.

We plan to visit the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Agency – VTA – to learn about their demonstration hydrogen bus program.  There are three Zero Emission Buses (ZEBs) in the program.  ZEBs are powered using fuel-cell engines from Ballard Power Systems of Burnaby, Canada.

We’ll be stopping at Integrated Design Associates, “IDeAS”, at their Z-squared building, which was a conversion of a 1960’s era concrete windowless bank.  A Z-squared building goes well beyond LEED, in that it not only produces all of its own energy, it produces zero carbon emissions. They will be presenting on their past and current projects in sustainable lighting and electrical design for businesses, schools and private residences.

We leave San José to drive down to Los Gatos, passing the percolation ponds that renew the Valley ground water.  In Los Gatos, we’ll visit Akeena Solar, a solar power installer.  They will be presenting on the history and future of solar power and the evolving technologies behind solar panels.  If there is enough time, we’ll drive over to one of their “second generation” solar installations.

Stay Over Tours – Sunday, June 1, 2008 9:30 AM to Noon
Stay Over Options
Many attendees need to get back home to work on Monday, so can’t partake of activities on Sunday. So, we’ve scheduled some low key, fun things for those who are able to stay. All of these events involve a mile or so of walking in an urban setting.  Breakfast isn’t provided, but we’re starting several of the tours at coffee shops. Sunday afternoon would be a great time to explore on your own if you have the time. Tour guides are available on-line if you want to do one of them by yourself. Participants who register for these tours will receive a VTA day pass to reach the starting points.

Downtown Treasure Hunt
We’ll meet at 10:00 AM at the bandstand at the north end of Plaza de Cesar Chavez, across the street from The Sainte Claire. After instructions and forming teams, the clues will be opened at 10:15,  the teams plan their strategies and head out to points of interest (many with an IA spin) throughout downtown San José. At each point you’ll need to collect a some data, e.g. a date, a name… The finish will be at 12 at the Sonoma Chicken Coop where you can get lunch. A tasty prize, inspired by a fact in James Lick’s story, awaits the first and second teams to finish the hunt!

Sixty Years of Worker Housing – An Economic Mirror of San José Development
Starting at 10 AM, there will be a walking tour of the Buena Vista neighborhood in west central San José that highlights approximately 60 years of changing worker housing, from small bungalows housing cannery workers of the early 1900’s to the classic glass-walled Eichler homes of the 1960’s housing the first wave of the technology boom.  Participants should take VTA Bus 23 or drive to the starting point at TBD W. San Carlos St.

The Beautiful Way – Tour Guide
Starting at 10 AM, a walking tour will explore The Alameda and the Shasta-Hanchett neighborhood. The tour is inspired by the recently published book The Alameda, the Beautiful Way by Shannon E. Clark, which is available from several of the stores.  This will include aggressive adaptive reuse of a former cannery as new housing, and other traces of the industries in the area.  Some magnificent homes will be seen, including one designed by noted architect Julia Morgan. Take VTA Bus 22 or drive to TBD The Alameda where the tour will start.

Japantown/Heinlenville – Tour Guide
At 10 AM we’ll meet in Japantown at the corner of 5th and Jackson for a partial repeat of the Earlybird tour there. Take VTA light rail to the Japantown stop and walk five blocks east on Jackson. For the more athletic, we’ll walk back to downtown through the Hensley neighborhood, with it’s rich collection of Victorians.