AKA: Straford Hotel, Downtown, San Jose, CA; Saint James Hotel #5, Downtown, San Jose, CA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings; built works - dwellings -public accommodations - hotels

Designers: Van Siclen, William D., Architect (firm); William Doty Van Siclen (architect)

Dates: constructed 1893-1894

3 stories, total floor area: 30,000 sq. ft.

227 North 1st Street
Downtown, San Jose, CA 95113

The Moir Building stood at 227-247 North 1st Street San Jose, CA.

Building History

William Moir operated a bicycle shop in this building he developed. Young at the time, he commissioned another young man, William Doty Van Siclen (1865-1951) to design it. Van Siclen developed an eclectic design, one having both Queen Anne and Richardsonian Romanesque details. Van Siclen also designed the nearby Tognazzi Building, a grocery which was also eclectic.

The San Jose Board of Trade leased space on the Moir Building's southern first floor. This organization served as a marketer of industrial and agricultural products produced in the city.

The 1982 National Register of Historic Places Inventory form said of Moir: "The developer, William Moir, was a young businessman in his early twenties when he built this structure. This may have been his first major mixed use development; it was located in the expanding commercial area north of downtown. Records indicate that several tenants living in flats had their business on the ground floor.- This included Moir who was a bicycle enthusiast and had a bicycle shop next to the Board of Trade. Moir also served as director of the Board of Trade. After completing several developments in the city, Moir and his family moved to the south county area where he developed and managed a large agricultural interest." (See Bonnie L. Bamberg, National Park Service.gov, "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Form: Moir Building," published 01/20/1982, accessed 11/16/2023.) By 1900, Moir lived in the town of Coyote, CA, a town southeast of San Jose, where he farmed. (See San Jose, California, City Directory, 1899-1900, p. 454.)

By 1924, the Saint James Hotel operated in this building.

In 1982, Burton Wines and Archie S. Robinson owned the Moir Building, according to the National Register of Historic Places Inventory form of 09/29/1982.

Building Notes

The Moir Building had a rectangular shape measuring 107 feet long by 76 feet wide. Bonnie Bamberg's 1982 National Register of Historic Places nomination form described the building at that time: "The facade is divided into six bays at the street level. Sandstone piers with acanthus capitals occur at the south end and the center of the building (Orginally a third occured at the northeast corner). Secondary divisions are created by the sandstone arch (the entrance to the upper floors) and the modified piers that remain of an identical, standstone arch also leading to the upper floors; this entrance was altered prior to ,1938., Between the arches and piers are four store fronts. Cast iron columns define the original window pattern of all the shops, but only the southernmost retains the orginal configuration, design and materials. The remaining three, and the one created within the former entrance arch are of a later (c. 1950) design, set back behind the cast iron columns. The rusticated Romanesque entrance contains three marble steps leading to the double, French style, pane-over-panel doors. The facade of the upper stories is divided into seven bays with a round tower orginally crowned with a Victorian cap and weathercock at the corner. Four bays are defined by slanted bay windows. There are three sets of paired windows, round headed at the third floor. Round port hole windows have been added between the slanted bays on the eastern facade, over the orginal upper story entrances. Decorative panels, dentils and archivolt trim with elongated key stones give texture to the facade. Two metal fire escape structures,, c, 1938, and a neon sign proclaiming "Hotel St. James" have been added to the facade. The bracketed cornice features a band of dentils above a p'lairi frieze; an ornamental frame containing MOIR BUILDING is centered in the frieze. Abeve. fhe cornice a parapet surrounds the flat roof and is capped with a string moulding. Treatment of the north side is similar to the .facade, but limited to two slanted bay windows and four round-headed window units with keystones." (See Bonnie L. Bamberg, National Park Service.gov, "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Form: Moir Building," published 01/20/1982, accessed 11/16/2023.)

PCAD id: 24875