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Peralta Adobe
Peralta Adobe
Location San Jose, California
Built 1797
Architect Manuel González
NRHP reference No. 73000454
Quick facts for kids
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 15, 1973

The Peralta Adobe is the oldest building in San Jose, northern California, still standing today. The adobe was built in 1797, and is named after Luis María Peralta, its most famous resident. The original builder was probably Manuel González.


Manuel González (an Apache Indian), his wife, and their five children accompanied the Spanish Anza Party to California in 1776. He was one of the founders of the Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe, the first municipal government in California, established in 1777. This was the second house that González lived in, the first site was untenable due to winter flooding.

In 1804, González died and the adobe went to Luís María Peralta in 1808. Peralta was a sergeant in the Spanish Army, commissioner of the Pueblo of San José, and owner of Rancho San Antonio of the East Bay, one of the largest ranchos in Alta California. Peralta divided the house into two rooms, built a porch, a kitchen and a chimney. He died in August 1851, leaving the adobe to his two daughters.

The house was the property of María Josefa (daughter of Peralta) until July 1862, María Dolores until 1866, and Balthazar Peralta (grandson of Peralta).

During the 1870s and 1880s, the adobe was used as a storage facility by Zeffiro Bastiani, Giovanni Spinetti, and later Lorenzo Scatena. In 1949, to make way for the construction of the Lusardi building in the adjoining lot, Guiseppe Bacchio had 17inches of the north-west exterior corner of the adobe removed.

Purchased by the City of San Jose in 1966, the adobe building was restored, and the surrounding park completed in 1976. The Peralta Adobe is San Jose's Historic Landmark #1, California Historical Landmark #866, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition, the adobe was the first site certified as a component of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.



The Peralta Adobe is a historic house museum, available for tours by appointment. The building covers an area of 20 feet by 41 feet (6 x 12.4 m), and has two connecting rooms of approximately equal size. The walls are about 2 feet (61 cm) thick, and made of adobe blocks that are 22 inches by 11 inches by 4 inches (56 x 28 x 10 cm). The adobe is furnished inside as it would have been 200 years ago. Outside is an outdoor fireplace oven (horno).

The adobe and the Thomas and Carmel Fallon House are within The Peralta Adobe & Fallon House Historic Site, on San Pedro Square in downtown San Jose, operated by the local nonprofit History San José. The Fallon House is across the street from the adobe, and was built in 1855 in the Victorian style.

Related pages

  • Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail
  • Luis María Peralta

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Park Service.

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