Alvarado House

Location: 2720 San Diego Ave
Old Town State Historic Park
Old Town San Diego, CA (map)
Phone: (619) 220-5422
More info: Website

This single-story adobe facing the plaza was built sometime before 1830. Owned by Francisco Maria Alvarado and his wife Tomasa Pico, sister of Mexican California’s last governor, it had a thatched roof, earthen floors, and wood-barred windows.In 1854, the San Diego grand jury charged Francisco Maria with keeping a disorderly house for selling liquor – a common occurrence given the town’s large male population during the gold rush.

During the American period, the Alvarados increasingly spent time at Rancho Los Penasquitos, preferring to divide and rent out their valuable plaza properties to American businessmen. After 1874, the adobe slowly deteriorated – symbolic of Old Town’s decline. The reconstructed building is a park concession.