San Francisco Landmarks

San Francisco Landmark #223: Carmel Fallon Building Carmen Fallon Building and First Baptist Church
14 June 2008
(Click Photo to Zoom)
San Francisco Landmark #223
Fallon Building
1800-1806 Market At Octavia
Built 1894

Thomas Fallon (1825-1885) was a member of both John C. Frémont's Second Expedition and the Bear Flag Revolt of 1846. During the short-lived revolt, he led twenty-two volunteers from Santa Cruz to the pueblo of San Jose which his forces easily captured.

After becoming wealthy during the Gold Rush, he married Carmel Castro Lodge (1827-1923), member of a prominent Californio family, including her grandfather, General Joaquin Ysidro Castro, and her uncle, José Castro, who had been governor of Alta California.

Thomas and Carmel lived in Santa Cruz, then Texas before returning to San Jose. Thomas bought land in what is today downtown San Jose and built the San Jose Fallon House. He became active in San Jose politics and rose to the office of Mayor, but in 1876 Carmel caught him and the maid in flagrante delicto and filed for divorce. She used her settlement to invest in real estate including this residential building on Market Street.

Before the 1906 Earthquake and Fire, this section of Market Street had many similar buildings. The Carmel Fallon Building is the only survivor. Those to the east were destroyed by the fire, and those to the west were lost to development over the years.

The two light standards in the photograph stand in the Path of Gold, San Francisco Landmark 200.

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