AKA: San Jose Safe Deposit Bank of Savings, Downtown, San Jose, CA; Bank of Italy, Headquarters, Downtown, San Jose, CA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - banks (buildings)

Designers: [unspecified]

Dates: constructed 1871-1872

3 stories

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East Santa Clara Street and South 1st Streets
Downtown, San Jose, CA 95113

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The San Jose Safe Deposit Bank Block was located on the southeast corner of Santa Clara and First Streets.


This opulent, Italianate building housed a bank and other retail businesses on the first floor, with offices on the upper two floors. E. McLaughlin served as president during the 1890s.

Building History

Bankers E. McLaughlin (born 1829 in Philadelphia, PA) and C.T. Ryland opened their McLaughlin and Ryland Bank on Santa Clara Street, between 1st and 2nd Streets in 1869. They moved their bank to the new Safe Deposit Block that they financed in 1872. In 1874, the McLaughlin and Ryland Bank merged with San Jose's Commercial Savings Bank, forming a new company whose primary stockholders were E. McLaughlin, C. T. Ryland, and Martin Murphy, Jr. (d. 10/20/1884). This new entity leased space in the Safe Deposit Building beginning on 05/13/1874. it was known as the "Commercial and Savings Bank" in 1877, with Ryland as its president. (See The Business Directory of San Francisco and Principal Towns of California and Nevada, 1877, [San Francisco: L.M, McKenney, Publisher, 1877], p. 91.)

The bank operated at the same location in the building until c. 1886, when it relocated to the building's opposite corner.

In 02/1883, McLaughlin bought out Ryland's interest in the Safe Deposit Building and subsequently opened the new San Jose Safe Deposit Bank of Savings in 05/1885. McLaughlin later sold the building to the bank for $200,000.

A book, Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated, (1888) described the Safe Deposit Block as "...one of the finest business blocks in interior California. It is three stories in height and beautiful in architectural design, having a frontage of one hundred and twenty-six and one-half feet on First Street, seventy feet on Santa Clara, and one hundred and thirty-eight feet on Fountain Street. Besides the splendid banking-rooms, there are several stores on the first floor. The other stories are used for offices." (See Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated, H. S. Foote, ed., [Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1888], p. 192.)

PCAD id: 1636