Several architectural treasures of the Monterey National Historic District were saved from the wrecking ball by Monterey History & Art Association. Some remain under the care of our organization, available to the public for tours, research, or your own private event.
CASA SERRANO ADOBE
412 Pacific Street | Open Saturdays, 2-4pm
Built 1843-Saved 1959
Open to the public on Saturdays, and also available for special event rental. Casa Serrano has lived many lives: home, schoolhouse, Italian restaurant! It has a special significance in California’s early history because it served simultaneously as one of the first schools after the U.S. flag was flown over the Custom House in 1846. Serrano was the teacher, and was also mayor of Monterey. MHAA was born here, in discussions over heaping plates of Cadematori’s spaghetti.
155 Van Buren Street | Open Wed., Fri., Sat. & Sun., 1:30-3:45pm
Built 1876-Saved 1970
Open to the public during limited weekly hours. The Mayo Hayes O’Donnell Library was originally the Saint James Episcopal Church, built in the California Gothic style by the Reverend James S. McGowan in 1876. It stood on Pacific Street near the Merritt House, until it was moved to avoid demolition. John Steinbeck’s son, Thom, was baptized in the church in 1945, and it is thought that Saint James’s was the church referred to in John Steinbeck’s book To a God Unknown
. Today it houses an extensive collection of rare California history archives.
FRANCIS DOUD HOUSE and GARDEN
177 Van Buren Street
Built 1852-Saved 1969
Doud House is one of the best surviving examples of a local wooden house of the early American Period. It was built by Francis Doud, an Irish-born soldier who served in Florida and Mexico under General Riley. Riley was eventually appointed the military governor of California, and Doud met up with his old commander in 1849, when he brought his wife, Anna Kenna Doud, and their son to Monterey.
539 Hartnell Street
Built prior to 1847-Saved 1961
Saved from becoming a parking lot for the Monterey Post Office, actual ownership of the little adobe has been traced through several Monterey families. In 1861, Antonio Maria Vasquez and his wife, Asuncion Boronda Vasquez, sold it for $200. By the late 1800s, it was the family home of Cristosomo Castro, who came to Monterey during the Gold Rush period. Today it is owned & operated by the Parker Lusseau Bakery, where patrons can enjoy coffee and pastries in a historic building.
PERRY DOWNER ESTATE and CARRIAGE HOUSE
201 Van Buren Street
Built 1860 –Saved 1966
This wood-frame house was built in the popular Queen Anne style by a whaling captain, Manuel Perry. It retains its original porch, columns topped by delicate spandrel arches, bay and stained-glass windows, and spiral staircase. Vacant and vandalized, the house was saved from the wrecking ball by MHAA’s Maggie Downer in 1966. New two-story additions with five-sided bay windows were added, and the derelict garage was remodeled into the Carriage House, complete with stained-glass ceiling. Today it is owned and operated by Classic Catering’s Gatherings.