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Built in 1889, the Letitia Building was named for Letitia Burnett Ryland, the daughter of California's first governor. The building has served numerous functions over its long life and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


  • The Letitia Building
  • Historical marker outside the Letitia Building

The Letitia Building, built in 1889, is considered by many preservationists to be one of San Jose's best examples of turn-of-the-century urban architecture because much of the building is unaltered from its original state. It was built by architect C.T. Ryland, and named for his wife, Letitia Burnett Ryland, the daughter of Peter Burnett, California's first governor. 

The building served as a rooming house until 1922, when it was remodeled and transformed into office and commercial space. Remarkably, the building's upper floors were vacant from the late 1920s and remained largely as the last tenants left them.

The Letitia Building was commissioned by Ryland, who was both aide and son-in-law to Peter Burnett, and was built by the German immigrant family of Jacob and Theodore Lenzen. It was one of two "sister" buildings, the other being the Security Building which is just to the south of the Letitia. 

The Letitia Building underwent a major renovation in the 1990s and has housed the Hopkins and Carley Law Firm since 2000. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Becky Bartindale, Ryland Building, San Jose Mercury News 29 September 1999 http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/RYLAND/2000-06/0960360708 Retrieved 13 June 2017.