Campbell (pronounced /ˈkæmbəl/) is a city in Santa Clara County, California, a suburb of San Jose part of Silicon Valley, in the San Francisco Bay Area. As of 2007 population estimates, Campbell's population is 39,200. Although not a major high-tech city like many of its neighbors, Campbell is the original home of eBay and of its creator, Pierre Omidyar.
Campbell is home to the Pruneyard Shopping Center, a sprawling open-air retail complex which was involved in a famous U.S. Supreme Court case that established the extent of the right to free speech in California. The larger of the associated Pruneyard Towers, built in 1970, was for many years the tallest building between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Today the Pruneyard Shopping Center is home to Democrat Mike Honda and the south bay offices of the FBI.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.8 km² (5.7 mi²). 14.5 km² (5.6 mi²) of it is land and 0.3 km² (0.1 mi²) of it is water.
Of the total area, 1.75% is water, consisting of percolation ponds in Los Gatos Creek Park and in other locations; San Tomas Aquino Creek, which flows north on the west side of the city, is completely enclosed with fences and runs through concrete culverts; and Los Gatos Creek, which flows north-north-east on the east side of the city and has paths along both banks for hikers and joggers (locally called the "Par Course").
State Route 17 runs roughly parallel to Los Gatos Creek on its eastern side; State Route 85 runs roughly east-west through Los Gatos just south of Campbell and cuts through the southwest corner of the city.
As of the census of 2000, there were 39,200 people, 15,920 households, and 9,122 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,624.8/km² (6,802.8/mi²). There were 16,286 housing units at an average density of 1,120.9/km² (2,905.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 72.78% White, 2.53% African American, 0.65% Native American, 14.16% Asian, 0.23% Pacific Islander, 4.87% from other races, and 4.77% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.33% of the population.
28.0% of the households had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.6% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.7% were non-families. 30.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 3.02.
The city population was 21.6% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 40.2% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 9.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 98.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $67,214, and the median income for a family was $78,663 (these figures had risen to $70,928 and $89,285 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $52,454 versus $43,750 for females. The per capita income for the city was $34,441. About 3.2% of families and 4.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.2% of those under age 18 and 8.3% of those age 65 or over.
The average rainfall, based on the last nine years (1998-99 to 2006-07 rain season) of data, is 14.82 inches (376 mm).
The City is represented by the City Council who internally elects a mayor and vice-mayor every calendar year. In November 2008, Jane P. Kennedy and Evan Low were elected Mayor and Vice-Mayor, respectively.
Campbell was founded by Benjamin Campbell, after whom the city was named. He came to California in 1846 with his father, William Campbell. William started a sawmill in Saratoga and surveyed the cities of San Jose and Santa Clara. In 1851, Benjamin bought 160 acres (0.65 km2) in southern Santa Clara Valley and cultivated hay and grain on it. This area later became Campbell's historical downtown core.
About a third of Campbell was a part of the 1839 Alta California Rancho Rinconada de Los Gatos land grant. The Northern extent of the granted land was along present-day Rincon Avenue and across the North end of John D. Morgan Park in central Campbell.
In 1878, Campbell sold his land for $5 an acre to a railroad company. By 1887, the first subdivision was recorded west of the railroad from Campbell Avenue to the spot where the Water Tower Plaza now stands. The area became the center for shipping fruit grown in the surrounding area, and within a short time, the drying grounds and canneries made Campbell an important rail center. The Campbell Fruit Growers' Union became a well-known cooperative with its 17-acre (69,000 m2) drying yard. J.C. Ainsley Packing Company, Hyde Cannery, and Payne Cannery were the main fruit packing companies. The Bank of Campbell was founded in 1895.
Campbell was officially incorporated as a city in 1952. The city then grew rapidly as orchard lands disappeared tract by tract. Today, Campbell is a suburban residential neighborhood in the southern part of the Santa Clara Valley.
Campbell is situated in the southern portion of the Santa Clara Valley, with Highway 17 passing through eastern Campbell and Highway 85 to its south. The historic downtown section sits just west of the railroad in the central area. The southwestern area of Campbell is known as the San Tomas neighborhood and varies somewhat from most of Campbell in the size of its lots and styles of housing. Hamilton Avenue is one the northernmost roads in Campbell.
Campbell is served by several major roads, including State Route 17, State Route 85 and San Tomas Expressway (Santa Clara County Route G4). Major local arterial roads include Winchester Boulevard and Bascom Avenue.
Public transport in Campbell is operated by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and includes several local and express bus lines that link the community to nearby towns, including Cupertino, Los Gatos, Palo Alto San Jose, Santa Clara and Saratoga. Additionally, the town is served by three light rail stations on the Mountain View - Winchester line, including Hamilton Station, Downtown Campbell Station, and the line's terminus at Winchester Station. These stations were opened as part of the first phase of the Vasona Light Rail project; the line will be extended past Winchester to Vasona Junction in Los Gatos once funding is secured. That line is now served by buses.
The extension was the subject of a minor dispute with the Federal Railroad Administration over the sounding of train horns late at night. This dispute delayed the opening of most of the extension for two months before the grand opening on October 1, 2005.
There are few large shopping centers or business complexes in the city, as Campbell is primarily a suburban residential area. Fry's Electronics and The Home Depot each have stores within the city limits and are two of the city's largest employers.
Most residences are single-family homes, although there are some areas with condominiums, duplexes, and apartments. Single-family homes typically have one or two bathrooms and three or four bedrooms and are between 1,000 square feet (93 m2) and 1,600 square feet (150 m2) on lots typically measuring about 6,000 square feet (560 m2). The vast majority were built in the 1950s through 1970s. There are pockets of older homes, mostly near downtown, often in demand for their architectural styles. There are also pockets of newer, much larger homes about 3,500 square feet (330 m2), mostly built in the 1990s on subdivided lots previously occupied by homes dating from the first half of the 20th century. Most of Campbell's apartments are located in northern Campbell on Hamilton and Campbell Avenues.
Campbell's downtown is located near where Campbell Avenue intersects with the railroad. The downtown has many shops, bars, and restaurants.
The oldest commercial building in the city was erected in 1920, originally for the Grower's Bank. The building was converted to a movie theater in 1938, which closed in 1953. In 1968, The Gaslighter Theater company purchased and refurbished the building with a small stage and bar.The Gaslighter produced melodramas and Vaudeville-style shows there until it closed in 2006. The building was sold and is currently undergoing refurbishment to become a lounge.
As of October 2006, the median price of single-family homes and condos was $707,500, up 4.8% from the previous October, and averaging $472 per square foot ($5,080/m²) according to the San Jose Mercury News; the average single-family home price, excluding condos, was $645,000 in January, 2004 (according to the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors). The price is based largely on the land value; the replacement cost for homes is about $150 to $200 per square foot ($1,600 to $2,200/m²).
Like many other cities in the Santa Clara Valley, Campbell was originally orchard land that was later developed into housing tracts. A few small orchards remain, though their numbers continue to dwindle rapidly as they are converted to housing and shopping.
In the early 1990s, the Ainsley House, a unique English Tudor-style house built in 1925, was moved from its original site at the corner of Hamilton and Bascom Avenues (the current site of eBay's headquarters) to the downtown quad and furnished with many of the Ainsley family's original furnishings. It has become the centerpiece for the Campbell Historical Museum, which houses additional exhibits in the nearby old firehouse. The Ainsley House was built in the style of English country cottages for John Colpitts Ainsley, a canning pioneer in Santa Clara County, which was at the time known for its vast spreads of fruit orchards.
The Campbell Community Center is located on the northwest corner of Winchester and Campbell Avenues, in the building that used to be Campbell High School, the original school in the Campbell Union High School District. The Redwood Tree, which stands at the corner of Winchester Boulevard and Campbell Avenue was originally planted there on May 11, 1903 by then President, Teddy Roosevelt. The city acquired the property on August 1, 1985, five years after the school shut down. The Heritage Theater, formerly the high school's auditorium, was reopened after renovations in 2004. The Community Center holds classes, and portions are available to be rented for various events.
Campbell for many years had one of the most successful youth baseball programs in the country, reaching 14 World Series from 1960-87.
Campbell’s youth baseball system dates to 1909, when Campbell High School formed its first team and won the Interurban Athletic Union championship. The community’s first non-scholastic youth baseball organization was the Junior Hardball League, which began in 1947. In 1954, Campbell Little League and Campbell Pony League began operation, and Moreland Little League, which is located in west San Jose but historically has served many Campbell residents, started in 1959.
Moreland in 1962 became the only Northern California team to win a Little League World Series, with 6-foot-1, 210-pound Ted Campbell pitching a no-hitter in a 3-0 victory over Kankakee, Ill, in the championship game. Campbell Little League reached the Little League World Series championship game in 1970, 1976 and 1979, becoming one of only two American leagues to go to the LLWS three times in one decade. In all, Campbell-system teams have won six youth baseball World Series and finished second five times. Nine future major leaguers played in the Campbell youth baseball system: Don Hahn, George Tsamis, Steve Davis, Dan Gladden, Doug Capilla, Rich Troedson, Joe Ferguson, John Oldham and Greg Gohr.
“The Last Baseball Town,” a book by Campbell resident Chuck Hildebrand that chronicles the city’s baseball heritage, was published in May 2009.
Campbell was also the site of the 1896 spree-killing by James Dunham.
The fruit cocktail was invented in Campbell.