[graphic]  Santa Clara County California's Historic Silicon Valley Header[graphic] National Park Service Arrowhead and link to NPS.gov
 [graphic]  Link to S C Home  [graphic] link to List of Sites
 [graphic] Link to Maps   [graphic] link to Essays  [graphic] link to Learn More  [graphic] link to Itineraries Home  [graphic] link to NR Home
[graphic] Previous Site [image]  Jose Maria Alviso Adobe[graphic] Next Site Site

[photo]f Current view of the Alviso Adobe
Photograph by Judith Silva, courtesy of the City of Santa Clara

The Jose Maria Alviso Adobe, built in 1837 and enlarged in the early 1850s, stands as an excellent example of the Monterey style of architecture popularized throughout California in the 1830s and 1840s. It is the only remaining example of this style in the Santa Clara Valley and San Francisco Bay area. The building is the result of a major remodeling completed by 1853 by the Alviso family; Jose Maria Alviso and his wife Juana Francisca. They added a wood-frame second floor to the family's one-story adobe house. Jose served as a soldier with the San Francisco Company from 1819 to 1827, and saw California pass from Spain to Mexico, and then from Mexico to the United States. Before the remodeling in 1853, the earlier building, built around 1837, most likely as a one-story adobe, provided the thick adobe walls of the first floor. The Alviso Adobe is a two-story residence with a hipped roof and a balcony carried on three sides. The plan of the rectangular residence is symmetrical, comprising three rooms downstairs with three upstairs rooms. The Alviso Adobe contains a remarkable amount of historic fabric--adobe walls from the 1830s, examples of framing and doors, windows, hardware from 1853 and an almost intact 1920s kitchen. It is unusual to find a building as little altered over a period of 150 years.

[photo] Historic image of Jose Maria Alviso Adobe, c1940 Photograph by Willis Foster, courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HABS, CAL,43-MIL.V,1-1

The Monterey style came into existence in the late 1830s and for the next 20 years would have a significant impact on California's built environment. The style represents a commingling of Hispanic and Anglo architectural traditions. The Alviso Adobe exhibits the character-defining features of the style: wood-shingled hipped roof, wood balconies on three sides, paired French doors opening to the outside, multi-paned windows, interior fireplaces, and a symmetrical layout. The property is presently under renovation. The project work comprises the upgrading of the existing historic farm to reflect the theme of a working ranch and orchard as it would have appeared in the 1920s. A number of mature trees are present on the site. A historic barn containing timbers dating to the 1840s was recently demolished. Both historic and prehistoric subsurface cultural remains have been documented in the vicinity of the residence. Originally built during Mexico's sovereignty over California, the Alviso Adobe retains great cultural value.

The Alviso Adobe is located at the intersection of Piedmont and Calaveras rds., Milpitas. Currently the site is under restoration and is owned by the City of Milpitas. The main telephone number for the City of Milpitas is 408-586-3000.

  [image] changing images of Santa Clara County
 [graphic] Los Gatos Historic Commercial District and link to Economic Development Essay   [graphic] Charles Copeland Morse house and link to Bay Area Architecture Essay
 [graphic] New Almaden and link to Early History Essay   [graphic] Agnews Insane Asylum and link to Preservation Essay

Santa Clara Home | Maps | List of Sites | Learn More | Itineraries | NR Home | Next Site
Essays: Early History | Economic Development | Bay Area Architecture | Preservation

Comments or Questions

JPJ/RQ/SB