SELF-GUIDED WALKING TOUR VENUES
Casa Gutierrez is one of the few remaining adobes built in the simpler Mexican style that once lined Monterey's streets. Casa Gutierrez was constructed by Joaquin Gutierrez. Gutierrez who came to Monterey from Chile in the 1830s as a young cavalry soldier; he married a daughter of the respected Escobar family, and they had a family of 15 children. In 1841 he bought a plot of land from the town authorities, and began building the house we see today about five years later. The current building occupied the southern portion of the plot; an additional wing has since been torn down. Upon his death in 1872, the property was divided among heirs. The Gutierrez Adobe was preserved from demolition when the Monterey Foundation purchased it for back-taxes in 1954. The State of California acquired it, and it became part of Monterey State Historic Park.
Cooper-Molera, a National Trust Historic Site, occupies 3-acres and is one of only three National Trust for Historic Preservation properties in California. The original owner, sea captain John Rogers Cooper of Boston was the half-brother to Thomas O. Larkin, original owner of the Larkin House. The Cooper-Molera Adobe is owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and operated by California State Parks.
Stevenson House, known as the French Hotel since the late 1800s, this two-part building was renamed in the 1940s based on a local oral tradition that Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) took a room there during the life-altering weeks he spent in Monterey in the autumn of 1879.
Casa Amesti was built in 1833 by Jose Amesti, a Spanish Basque, who came to Monterey at the age of 30; in 1822, he married Prudenciana Vallejo, daughter of Don Jose Vallejo. As his wealth increased, he added on to the original adobe; construction continued into the 1850s. In 1918, the crumbling Casa Amesti was purchased by Frances Elkins for $5000. An interior designer, Elkins called upon her brother, architect David Adler, to help her restore the building, adding bathrooms, central heating, a pair of solaria, and a lovely garden with a greenhouse (the last added as late as 1951). Upon her death in 1953, the property was donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and it is now leased for private use.
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. Casa Serrano is owned by Monterey History and Art Association.
Colton Hall was built in the 1840s by, and named for, the Reverend Walter Colton who came to Monterey as a chaplain on Commodore Stockton's vessel and remained to become Monterey's first alcalde (mayor) in the American Period. Shortly after its construction, Colton Hall had its greatest moment of glory when the 48 delegates to California's Constitutional Convention met in the second floor assembly hall in 1849. It is the most important public office building in Monterey County to be in continuous use.
Few Memorial Hall of Records is Monterey's city hall and includes the City Council Chambers. Combining Spanish and American Colonial styles, the building was completed in 1935 with funds bequeathed by artist Agatha Hilby Few as a memorial to her late husband Charles Few, a civic activist who served on the City's Board of Trustees from 1894 to 1898. Along with Colton Hall and the Underwood Adobe, Few Memorial Hall serves as Monterey's civic center.
Larkin House was built during Monterey's Mexican Period by Thomas Oliver Larkin, a Yankee merchant who became tremendously influential in early California politics. The building, one of the first two-story houses in Monterey, was to serve as both Larkin's home and store. One of the earliest examples of Monterey colonial architecture, it was started in 1834 shortly after Larkin (a half-brother of John Rogers Cooper, of the Cooper-Molera Adobe) came to California. He adapted East Coast building forms to local materials: adobe and redwood. Alice Larkin Toulmin, Larkin's granddaughter, acquired the house in 1922, and filled it with early 19th-century antiques from many parts of the world. In 1957, she presented the house to the State of California as a historic monument.
Monterey Museum of Art-Pacific Street, an inviting, three-story landmark, is located across from historic Colton Hall in the heart of Old Monterey. The Museum features eight galleries devoted to exhibitions of American and early California painting, photography and contemporary art.