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. 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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
The historical marker 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.
However, in a 2000 report issued in preparation for the city's renovation plan, historians discovered several errors in the original plaque. Firstly, the Alviso adobe was confused with another adobe built by José Dolores Pacheco that had lain 0.5 miles (0.8 km) to the north. Additionally, construction was wrongly credited to Alviso's father. Lastly, there is no evidence that Frémont ever used the building. The historical marker has since been removed.
^ a b Carter, Matt (November 29, 2004). "Pleasanton lacks funding for adobe park plan". The Oakland Tribune. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
^ Pal, Meera (June 6, 2007). "Pleasanton OKs funding for historical Alviso Adobe park". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
^ a b c Schrader, Barry (September 15, 2005). "Alviso Adobe passes 150 year mark". History Detectives. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
^ "McNerney, Hosterman open Alviso Adobe Community Park". Pleasanton Weekly. October 27, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
^ "Alameda". California Historical Landmarks. California Office of Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
Painting by Judi Caplan - Plein-Air painting at Alviso Adobe