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Old Alvarado at Night

The buildings along Smith Street are rich with history.

People often drive through Smith Street unaware of the history they pass by.

The area, originally known as Alvarado, was named after former Mexican Governor of California Juan Bautista Alvarado in the early 1850s, according to a Union City 50th Anniversary Celebration Committee guidebook.

According to historian Tim Swenson's Alvarado Walking Tour, many of the buildings there today date back to the early 1900s. The Smith Street Convenience Market, for example, was originally built in 1917.

Today, Old Alvarado is still active, with many independent businesses serving the Union City Community. Old Alvarado Park also hosts the weekly every Saturday morning. The Union City Historical Museum is housed in the original Alvarado Firehouse, which was built in the 1940s. It also served as the first City Hall in 1959 when Union City incorporated, according to Swenson's research.

Patch contributor Paciano Triunfo photographed a few of these historic buildings during a night photo session. View the gallery and learn more about the sites above.

Paddy's Coffee House March 24, 2011 at 11:36 PM
Nice stunning photographs. Thank you for putting Old Alvarado in the limelight.
Tina Nishihira March 25, 2011 at 04:05 AM
Wow these are great photos. I spent a lot of time in this neighborhood as a lot of my family lived there. It's nice to see that someone else appreciates all that Old Alvarado has to offer.
Rita March 25, 2011 at 03:05 PM
This is a great feature. I loved seeing a different part of our city, with a bit of history. It would be great to see a similar feature for Decoto.
Zoneil Maharaj March 25, 2011 at 03:11 PM
Thanks Tina, Rita and Paddy. Paciano does some amazing work. Rita, right after he sent these in, he said he wanted to shoot the Decoto side too, so that may be coming some time down the road. "Viewfinder" is our weekly photo series; is there anything else you guys think would make for great photos (places, events, etc.)?
Suzanne Ortt March 25, 2011 at 05:04 PM
Hi, Zoneil, Good section. Right now the Alameda Flood Control Ditch is running very heavy, is full, and muddy, at least, it was yesterday. It could be a good photo. Today I hope to get the information about the owners of the Roshni Market. Do you receive the New Haven News from Rick LaPlante? Lately, he had a good item about a student in the Puente Program has received a scholarship to MIT. You might like to followup on that. I am doing one for the Tri-City Voice. Thank you for such a good publication, Suzanne Ortt
Tina Nishihira March 25, 2011 at 06:45 PM
Hello Zoneil, I was thinking of different places that may make for some good photos. How about the trails behind Tamarack Knolls and Dry Creek Cottage? There are some beautiful flowers, gardens, and just nature all around there. I recently discovered the cottage and I have lived in the area for over 10 years. They have a beautiful little bridge, flowered paths, lots of trees and different flowers. It's a little hidden gem! Just a suggestion. And thanks for a great piece. Tina
Zoneil Maharaj March 25, 2011 at 07:35 PM
Thanks for the tips Tina and Suzanne! (Yup, I get the newsletters; was out with Rick yesterday covering the schools foundation's mini-grants, which should go up tomorrow). I'll pass these ideas on to Paciano and see if he's up for it. We ran a story about the cottage back in October, thanks to Myrla from the Historical Museum (http://patch.com/A-GMd) but I wasn't able to snap any original shots, so the photos would make a great follow-up.
Paciano Triunfo March 26, 2011 at 08:01 PM
I'm glad you guys enjoyed the photos. Night Photography definitely changes perspective of things not normally seen in the daytime. I am always in awe of the history of these buildings and how long they have been around. I grew up on the Alvarado side, so I've spent a lot of time in the area. I would definitely like to do more of these. Like Zoneil mentioned, I'd like to represent Decoto landmarks as well. Any suggestions?

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