This Electric Light Tower at the San Jose History Park is a replica of the original tower inspired by J. J. Owen, editor of the San José Mercury. In 1881, Owen suggested lighting the entire downtown area (at that time) by providing one high and intensive source of light. With the enthusiastic and financial support of local citizens, a gigantic, 237-foot tower was built and lighted by year’s end. The tower proved to be more spectacular than practical as it failed to sufficiently light the area as planned. Still, it represented progress to the people of San José because electricity was a relatively new source of power. Damaged by a windstorm in early 1915, the tower completely collapsed later that year.