National Register of Historic Places in Monterey County

National Register #70000137: Monterey Old Town Historic District

National Register #70000137: Monterey Old Town Historic District

The marker, visible at the lower right in the photograph, is mounted on a retaining wall near the Old Pacific House.

9 December 2018
(Click Photos to Zoom)

National Register #70000137
Monterey Old Town Historic District

From 1770 until 1849, Monterey was the stronghold of European civilization on the American Pacific Coast and the hub of social, economic and political activities in Alta California.

Founded on 3 June 1770, Monterey was the second of the four presidios established by the Spanish in California. (The other presidios founded by Spain were San Diego, Santa Barbara and San Francisco. The Sonoma Presidio was built when Alta California was ruled by Mexico.)

Early in the 1820s, the inhabitants began to construct their houses outside the adobe walls of the fort and Monterey was formally authorized as a pueblo by the Mexican government in 1827. By 1830, the population was about five hundred. In 1845, it was about seven hundred and fifty. Old Monterey was then a tangle of narrow streets irregularly laid out, and its some two hundred buildings were widely scattered.

In the 20th century, Monterey expanded, demolished and rebuilt, until only a few dozen of the 19th century historic structures remained. Many are widely scattered with the former open areas between them now occupied by modern structures that impair the historic scene.

Two pockets of historic structures have survived.

The southern section is bounded roughly by the four blocks surrounding the intersection of Madison and Pacific Streets.

The northern section borders on the bay and includes the blocks surrounding the intersections of Scott, Pacific, Olivier, Calle Principal and Alvarado Streets.

Monterey Old Town Historic District is a National Historic Landmark.

Source: Adapted from the NRHP nomination submitted in 1970.

Name Year Address Remarks Sort Address Sort Name
Alvarado Adobe1830570 Dutra StreetSouthern SectionDutra 0570Alvarado Adobe
Alvarado House1836494-498 Alvarado StreetSouthern SectionAlvarado 0494Alvarado House
Casa Amesti1834516 Polk StreetSouthern SectionPolk 0516Casa Amesti
Casa de la Torre1852502 Pierce StreetSouthern SectionPierce 0502Casa de la Torre
Casa del Oro1845Olivier and Scott StreetsNorthern SectionOlivier ScottCasa del Oro
Colton Hall1847Pacific Street Between Jefferson and MadisonSouthern SectionPacific Colton Hall
Cooper-Molera Adobe1829525 Polk StreetSouthern SectionPolk 0525Cooper-Molera Adobe
First Brick House1847351 Decatur StreetNorthern SectionDecatur 0351First Brick House
First Federal Courthouse1836599 Polk StreetSouthern SectionPolk 0599First Federal Courthouse
First Theater in California1846Pacific and Scott StreetsNorthern SectionPacific ScottFirst Theater in California
General Sherman Quarters1834464 Calle PrincipalSouthern SectionCalle Principal 0464General Sherman Quarters
Gordon House1849527 Pierce StreetSouthern SectionPierce 0527Gordon House
GutiƩrrez Adobe1841590 Calle PrincipalSouthern SectionCalle Principal 0590GutiƩrrez Adobe
House of Four Winds1835540 Calle PrincipalSouthern SectionCalle Principal 0540House of Four Winds
Larkin House1837500 Calle PrincipaleSouthern SectionCalle Principale 0500Larkin House
Old Custom House1827Custom House PlazaNorthern SectionCustom House PlazaOld Custom House
Old Pacific House1847Custom House PlazaNorthern SectionCustom House PlazaOld Pacific House
Old Whaling Station1855391 Decatur StreetNorthern SectionDecatur 0391Old Whaling Station
Underwood-Brown Adobe1845350 Madison StreetSouthern SectionMadison 0350Underwood-Brown Adobe
Vasquez Adobe1874546 Dutra StreetSouthern SectionDutra 0546Vasquez Adobe
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