The Peralta Adobe House in San Jose, CA

A photo of an outdoor courtyard full of guests eating, with a white, old-fashioned house in the background.

There’s nothing like a night of good food and drinks at San Pedro Square Market. But there’s more to this San Jose spot than what meets the eye. | Photo by Cristiano Tomás via Wikimedia Commons

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How many of you have been to San Pedro Square Market? Okay, you can put your hands down — we know it’s a pretty popular destination. But for all the people who stop by for food + drinks, some might miss the old-timey building in the center of the outdoor courtyard.

This unassuming building is actually the Gonzalez/Peralta Abode House + it’s the last remaining building from El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe, which was the first municipal government in CA. 🏠

An artist depiction of San Jose in 1837

This artist’s rendition of San Jose in 1837 shows the Peralta Adobe in the center of the image. | Photo courtesy of History San Jose Research Library & Archives

⏳ The past

The two-room house was built in 1797 by José Manuel Gonzalez, an Apache man traveling with the Juan Bautista de Anza expedition. Gonzalez was the first resident + second mayor of what would later become San Jose.

After he died, the house passed to Luís María Peralta who served as a Spanish commissioner — the highest public office in the community at the time. Peralta’s family lived in this home for roughly 70 years, which is why most locals know the house as the Peralta Adobe.

The house was built using traditional adobe bricks, which are made from mud, hay + animal dung. Despite these simple building materials, the structure has survived through the years — even at one time being used as a plumbing business’ warehouse.

A black and white photograph of two men handing a check to a woman.

Leonard McKay (left) and TomMcEnery (right) gave Mayor Hayes a $50,000 check to restore the Peralta Adobe in 1975. | Photo courtesy of History San Jose Research Library & Archives

⌛ The present

The Peralta Adobe was purchased by the City in 1966 and was quickly restored + placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It now sits in the middle of downtown, surrounded by restaurants, bars, and local vendors.

While you can’t explore the site on your own, you can learn more about this surprising piece of local history from its current caretaker, History San Jose. The organization leads tours of the Peralta Adobe + the neighboring Fallon House at 12 and 2 p.m. every Sat. and Sun. — tours last 90 minutes and cost $6+.

An interior shot of an old wooden table, chair, quill, book, and paper in front of a window.

The interior of the Peralta Adobe has been furnished to look as it might have in the 1700-1800s. | Photo courtesy of History San Jose Research Library & Archives

©George Delgado

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