National Register of Historic Places in Monterey County
The property was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004 primarily because of its association with Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers Union.
Chavez was jailed here between December 4 and December 24, 1970, for refusing to end a boycott of Bud Antle Lettuce. Ethel Kennedy and Coretta Scott King were among the many supporters who visited Chavez.
Soon after the Monterey County Jail was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the county government approved demolition of the building and asked the Keeper of the National Register to delist the property.
On August 31, 2004, the Court of Appeal of California rendered a decision preventing the demolition of the Old County Jail. Testimony regarding the Old Jail's Gothic Revival Style and its association with Cesar Chavez and the farm-worker movement led to Justice McAdam's position that the Old Jail is a historic resource, both architecturally and culturally.
Source: Adaptive Reuse Feasibility Study of Old Monterey County Jail by Page & Turnbull, 28 October 2014
Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo requested that the County solicit proposals for the adaptive reuse of this landmark building instead of the prior County preference for demolition. The Supervisors unanimously approved this request on 10 October 2017.
Source: Alliance of Monterey Area Preservationists