Luna Park

From 1907 to 1920, San Jose’s north side boasted Luna Park, a vibrant entertainment hub built by trolley magnate Lewis Hanchett, owner of the San Jose and Santa Clara Electric Railroad. Accessible by trolleys he extended, Luna Park combined baseball and events with carnival thrills. A merry-go-round, roller coaster, and even a Ferris wheel delighted crowds alongside minor league baseball games, with teams like the San Jose Bears and Prune Pickers taking to the diamond. Major league teams, like the Chicago White Sox, graced the field during spring training, adding to the park’s prestige.

Located near the modern intersection of Berryessa Road and North 13th Street (formerly Milpitas Road), Luna Park thrived with convenient transit access. A 1909 map reveals a dedicated light rail line reaching the park’s entrance on 14th Street. This deliberate connection ensured a steady flow of visitors, making Luna Park a profitable destination and boosting trolley ridership.

Though ultimately succumbing to time, Luna Park left a lasting legacy. Its name, borrowed from the iconic Coney Island park, still echoes in San Jose’s history, reminding us of a bygone era where baseball and amusement united for family fun, fueled by the innovative spirit of public transportation.

The land that Luna Park sat on was sold to an axle manufacturer and eventually parcelled off. Today the area is an industrial neighborhood at the juncture of the US101 and 880 freeways.

Luna Park is noted near the top of this map of San Jose from 1913.