Alviso Adobe Community Park

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Alviso Adobe Community Park
Alviso Adobe.JPG
The Alviso adobe
Location 3546 Old Foothill Road
Pleasanton, California 94588
Coordinates 37°39′38″N 121°54′43″W / 37.66063°N 121.91198°W / 37.66063; -121.91198Coordinates: 37°39′38″N 121°54′43″W / 37.66063°N 121.91198°W / 37.66063; -121.91198
Area 7 acres (2.8 ha)
Built 1854
Architect Francisco Alviso
Official name: Francisco Solano Alviso Adobe
Designated September 24, 1953
Reference no. 510[1]
Alviso Adobe Community Park is located in California
Alviso Adobe Community Park
Location of Alviso Adobe Community Park in California

The Alviso Adobe Community Park is a 7-acre (2.8 ha) park in the city of Pleasanton, California, United States. It is built around an adobe house constructed in 1854 by Francisco Alviso on the Rancho Santa Rita Mexican Land Grant. The Alviso Adobe is a rare surviving example of an early American adobe that was continuously in use until 1969. The building is registered as California Historical Landmark #510.[2]

Construction of the park was initially planned to begin in 2000, but the city could not secure funding until 2007, when the $4.4 million project was finally begun.[3] The park opened to the public with a grand-opening ceremony on October 25, 2008. Besides the adobe, which is furnished as it would have been in the 1920s, the park contains a replica of an old dairy and interpretive displays of Ohlone culture.

Alviso adobe[edit]

Built in 1854 by Francisco Alviso for his wife and ten children, the adobe was the center of a 300-acre (1.2 km2) ranch. Alviso sold the property and land in 1872 to J. West Martin, a land speculator and later mayor of Oakland. Martin then resold it to Anthony Chabot, the "Water King". Census records indicate that the Alviso family continued to live there until the 1880s. Afterwards, it was acquired by the Contra Costa Water Company and used by a succession of different families.[4]

The 1906 San Francisco earthquake damaged the building, leaving large cracks in the walls and chimney. In 1919, it was purchased by Walter M. Briggs, who started the Meadowlark Dairy, the first certified dairy in California.[5] He had the building renovated and used it as housing for his workers. The adobe continued to serve this purpose until 1969, when the dairy moved its operations to Tracy.[4]

The Briggs company sold the ranch and adobe to the Great Southwest Corporation, who wanted to build an amusement park on the site, but this was hotly contested by local residents and the plan was scrapped. The company then sold it to a real-estate development company. Most of the land was then converted to individual housing lots, but the adobe, which had been declared a California Historical Landmark in 1954, was donated to the city of Pleasanton.[4]

The historical marker #510 originally read:

FRANCISCO SOLANO ALVISO ADOBE - This building, erected in 1844-46 by Francisco Solano Alviso, was the first adobe house to be built in the Pleasanton Valley. It was originally called Alisal—The Sycamores. Following the Battle of Sunol Canyon, General John C. Frémont withdrew to this building, which became his headquarters for several days.[1]

However, in a 2000 report issued in preparation for the city's renovation plan, historians discovered several errors in the original plaque.[2][6] Firstly, the Alviso Adobe was confused with another adobe built ten years earlier by José Dolores Pacheco that had lain 0.5 miles (0.8 km) to the north. Additionally, construction was wrongly credited to Francisco Alviso's father, Franciso Solano Alviso[7]. Lastly, there is no evidence that John C. Frémont ever used the building [2] or that a battle with local Indians ever occurred, as Frémont's memoirs place him in Santa Clara at the time. The historical marker has since been removed.

Plaque at the Alviso Adobe Community Park, Pleasanton, CA

The current plaque at Alviso Adobe Community Park states that the building was built in 1854 and features a photo, circa 1900, of the Alviso Adobe with its tenant farmer family who lived there from 1898 to 1917[8].

The 2000 Master Plan for the Alviso Adobe Community Park[9] included a 39-foot replica of the white grain silo on the east side of the re-created Meadowlark Dairy. Objections from the local residents caused the planners and the city to revise the master plan and eliminate the silo from the park.[2][10]


  1. ^ a b "Francisco Solano Alviso Adobe". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2011-03-25. 
  2. ^ a b c d Carter, Matt (November 29, 2004). "Pleasanton lacks funding for adobe park plan". East Bay Times. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  3. ^ Pal, Meera (June 6, 2007). "Pleasanton OKs funding for historical Alviso Adobe park". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  4. ^ a b c Schrader, Barry (September 15, 2005). "Alviso Adobe passes 150 year mark". History Detectives. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  5. ^ "McNerney, Hosterman open Alviso Adobe Community Park". Pleasanton Weekly. October 27, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  6. ^ Hampson, R. Paul, Charlene Duval, and Roberta S. Greenwood (2000). Cultural Resource Investigations at Alviso Adobe Community Park. City of Pleasanton. 
  7. ^ Lofft, Patrick (February 2009). "Alviso Family History in Pleasanton" (PDF). Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society. Retrieved 27 March 2017. 
  8. ^ Pattillo, Chris (30 January 2010). "Alviso Adobe Community Park". Historic American Landscapes Survey. 
  9. ^ "Alviso Adobe Community Park Master Plan - 31 May 2000" (PDF). City of Pleasanton. 22 October 2014. p. 2. 
  10. ^ Pena, Michael (2 October 2000). "Reborn Dairy a Hillside Dilemma / Pleasanton landmark's color, height draw ire". Retrieved 27 March 2017. 

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