National Register of Historic Places in Santa Clara County
Travelers on Highway 101 recognize Gilroy for its memorable City Hall, a landmark labeled a "begabled, beportholed, beturreted" structure at the time of its construction in 1905.
Dominating the two story building is the corner tower with its four clock faces and its tiled cupola. The two corner facades are richly decorated with stone cornices, ornamental gables, tiled roofs, sandstone window trim, and stone spheres.
Designation of its style is a source of controversy but was described as "in the Mission Style" when built. The architect was Samuel Newsom in cooperation with the San Jose architectural firm of Wolfe and McKenzie.
When the cornerstone was laid for the City Hall on a windy day, November 22, 1905, students were excused from school, people came on foot and in carriage to watch the ceremony and hear the speaker extol the virtues of the new building. The Gilroy Gazette reported that "no other city in the county, except in San Jose, has so magnificent a building as this will be."
Excerpted from NRHP Nomination Form April 1975
The first floor is clad in rusticated, random ashlar, a buff sandstone resembling that used at Stanford University. The second floor is covered with stucco.
The building, with its fanciful detailing, looked back and forward; its Spanish tile reflected contemporary Mission Revival models, while the rusticated sandstone recalled the earlier Richardsonian Romanesque era.
The Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989 caused structural damage to the City Hall. The Gilroy Historical Society, in partnership with the Santa Clara County Historical Heritage Commission, raised money to renovate it.
Excerpted from Pacific Coast Architectural Database
The building now houses commercial establishments.