November 10, 2010

Historic Monterey

Filed under: — @ 9:42 pm

As far as California city’s go, Monterey is one of the most historic and abundant in natural beauty. It was the original capital of the state and when visiting the region, it’s easy to see why.If you’re visiting Monterey you should take time to notice some of the city’s most notable historic buildings to get a glimpse into the history that once was:

  • The Royal Presidio Chapel is the oldest structure in Monterey, constructed by the Spanish government in 1794. It is the first architect-designed building in California.
  • The original portion of the Robert Louis Stevenson House dates from the late 1830s. Here the author reportedly began his classic tale of adventure, Treasure Island.
  • In 1849, Colton Hall hosted the first California Constitutional Convention.
  • California’s First Theater was built in the 1840s by Jack Swan, an English sailor, as a saloon and apartments. The 1st New York Volunteers, an Army unit stationed in Monterey, put on their first play at the building in 1850, establishing it as Monterey’s theatrical destination.
  • Larkin House was the first house built in the Monterey Colonial architectural style. Thomas Oliver Larkin built it in 1834, adapting traditional New England motifs to the available redwood and adobe.
  • The Custom House, at the entrance to Fisherman’s Wharf, is the oldest government building in California and is California State Historic Monument 1.
  • Pacific House has served many different purposes in its history. Since it was built in 1847, it’s been a military supply storage site, a hotel, a church and a ballroom, among other things. It’s now a history museum.
  • Cooper-Molera Adobe was home to three generations of Coopers. Built in the 1820s and remodeled many times until 1900, it now houses a visitor center with a shop full of old-time treasures. Don’t miss its historic garden.
  • Casa Soberanes is a Mexican Colonial adobe structure furnished with handsomely preserved antique furniture, artwork and silver.
  • Casa Serrano 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. Open on Saturdays and free to the public.

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