The Pacific Hotel was originally located at 74-80 South Market Street in downtown San José, near the Plaza de César Chavez. The first hotel at this location was founded in 1860, but the Pacific Hotel itself was not opened until 1880. Charles Schiele, a Prussian immigrant and former waiter, purchased the property, then known as Otter’s Hotel, and was the first owner of the Pacific Hotel. Schiele remained in charge for seven years, until he sold the hotel to Julius Neifing and Jacob Schlenker and was elected to the San José City Council. Schlenker owned the hotel with different business partners until 1903, when he sold it to George Pfeffer. The Pacific Hotel remained in business until July 1907, when the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company bought the building.
Advertisement for the original Pacific Hotel in San Jose
While the hotel was in operation, it had fifty-five rooms, a bar, billiards, a reading room, and a livery stable. German food was a specialty in the hotel’s Deutches Gasthaus (German Guesthouse). In the late nineteenth century, room and board at the Pacific Hotel cost between nine and fifteen dollars. Breakfast and dinner were available for fifty cents each, and lunch cost seventy-five cents.
This replica of the Pacific Hotel, constructed to serve as the Historical Museum’s headquarters, was dedicated in 1977. Currently, the upper floor of the Pacific Hotel is occupied by History San José’s administrative offices. The main floor houses O’Brien’s Ice Cream Parlor and the exhibit gallery.