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The Taormino/Caputo House

This San Jose City Landmark was commissioned by Fillippo Taormino in 1921 for his oldest son Sal. Sal had recently returned from serving in World War I and was engaged to be married. His father desperately wanted him to stay in San Jose and become an orchardist, but Sal and his wife-to-be had other ideas. Fillippo bought 20 acres of prune and apricot orchards on Cypress Avenue and ordered a house based on the most beautiful houses he knew of, the Col House on Martin Avenue and the Holt House on Monterey Road.

Unfortunately, Sal and his wife didn't choose to stay in the house. Rumor has it that it was used as a speakeasy for a time during Prohibition. Sal rented it to his brother for several years and eventually sold the property in 1931 to Assunta and Rocco Caputo, whose family gave it the appreciation it deserved and lived there for nearly 70 years.

Cypress Avenue was next to Sarah Winchester's property, and the entire area was a rich agricultural center. Among the residents of Cypress Avenue were progressive orchardists Frank and Lester Allen. Lester's 1895 Victorian house still stands on Cypress across from the Caputo house.