National Register of Historic Places in Monterey County
Thomas O. Larkin, a New England merchant, arrived in Monterey in 1832 and quickly developed an important commercial and trading business along the coast. He began constructing his house in April 1835 and completed it in 1837.
Larkin adapted the building techniques of New England. He constructed a timber frame and might have built the house entirely of wood had it been available, but because the redwood industry was unable to supply the quantity of lumber needed to build a New England frame clapboard house, Larkin combined a timber frame with the adobe construction techniques indigenous to Alta California.
A handhewn redwood frame, supporting the weight of a second story, facilitated the used of adobe bricks weighing less than those used in traditional load-bearing adobe construction. The thinner walls permitted greater freedom of fenestration.
Larkin covered his house with a New England shingled hip-roof and built a broad two-story veranda to protect the adobe exterior from the elements and to provide shade and access to rooms on the second floor.
Source: Adapted from the NRHP nomination submitted in the 1966.
The Larkin House is California Historical Landmark 106.