National Register of Historic Places in Santa Cruz County

National Register #86000456: Carmelita Court in Santa Cruz 21 November 2012
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National Register #86000456
Carmelita Court
315-321 Main Street
Santa Cruz
Built 1866-1888

Carmelita Court is a quaint collection of cottages on a single lot with heavy, mature landscaping in the city's Beach Hill area. The six wood frame cottages, constructed primarily between 1866 and 1888, display vernacular variations of 19th century classical styling. Major additions were made to several of the structures early in the 20th century, but the overall historic appearance of the complex remains intact.

Guarded by a deodora cedar, the Carmelita Court garden contains many plants dating back to the development of the site, including liquidamber and tulip trees, camellias, dogwoods, variegated azaleas, and rhododendrons. The site contains two unusually fine specimens of variegated azaleas and laceleaf maple as well as thornless English holly, red-flowing eucalyptus, and birch.

The cottages were built by Captain Joseph Roberts who transferred his nautical skills to local construction. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1828, Roberts arrived in Santa Cruz in 1850. For fifteen years, he commanded his own vessel transporting local goods bound for Gold Rush communities on the upper Sacramento River.

Excerpted from the NRHP Nomination.

Today (March 2013), the property is a city park and youth hostel.

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