Ensconced amid the modern structures of downtown, an early-19C adobe and a luxurious Italianate mansion recall San Jose's Spanish Colonial beginnings and its early-19C growth.Erected for Thomas Fallon, a flamboyant former guide with the Frémont party who had married a Californio land-grant heiress, Fallon House was the grandest residence in San Jose when it was completed in 1855. Among other luxurious accoutrements, the mansion boasted marble fireplaces, elaborately decorated ceilings and woodwork carefully painted to look like oak. After serving as a hotel and a restaurant through the early 20C, it was acquired by the city and painstakingly restored. The lower level contains an excellent small museum detailing San Jose's development from Spanish Colonial pueblo through the American period.Across the street, the modest Peralta Adobe was the residence of Luís María Peralta, a high-ranking pueblo official and wealthy landowner. The bedroom of the structure appears as it would have around 1800 (note the intriguing, suspended cradle), while the living room, or sala, is more elaborately furnished as it would have been around 1840.
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