was instrumental in saving the wings of the Old Del Monte Hotel (currently the
Naval Post Graduate School) from demolition in 2006.
Educate the community about the value of recognizing, preserving,
securing, and displaying the Monterey area's historic assets for public
To Support activities which interpret and share the Monterey area's
rich cultural heritage with residents and visitors.
Encourage residents to be advocates for ideas, programs, and plans
which contribute to the understanding of the Monterey area's cultural,
ethnic, artistic, and architectural legacy.
National Register of Historic Places #03000337
Old Monterey County Jail
142 West Alisal Street, Salinas, California
In December, 1970, Cesar Chavez, co-founder of the United Farm Workers, was held in this jail
for 20 days for refusing to call off a lettuce boycott, raising national and international attention to
farm worker’s issues. This event was considered pivotal in the struggle for farm workers rights.
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, and our Supervisors voted unanimously for it on October 10, 2017! Please thank our Supervisors, especially Luis Alejo. AMAP has strongly supported the preservation and adaptive reuse of the old jail since our beginning in 2004 and now we need to help find a wonderful new use for the beautiful jail. Spread the word...
Some reasons to choose to adaptive reuse instead of demolition:
- Preserves a National Register building that contributes to the history and culture of Salinas and the United States
- Honors the contributions of Cesar Chavez and the Salinas Valley agricultural workers
- Rehabilitation is an inherently sustainable approach (Preservation is the ultimate “Green”)
- Rehabilitation utilizes embodied energy and avoids landfill and demolition costs; proves to lower building costs
- Good location adjacent to other county-owned buildings
- Federal Historic Preservation Tax incentives possible
- Partnering with private development to bring new tax revenues
- Retains a contributing building to the Art Deco Era of Salinas, of a rare Gothic Revival style
- Gains positive press from honoring a gracious historic building with a new use that would benefit Salinas and the County in many ways
"Preservation of one's own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures."
— César Chávez (1927-1993)
Pacific Grove resident and AMAP board member Dr, Raymond Neutra's book on his family's relationship with Frank Lloyd Wright is available on Amazon. Learn about the development of Neutra's mid-century "California Modern."
What is the psychological process whereby one person inspires and influences another? In this richly illustrated book, Dr. Raymond Richard Neutra traces the forty-year relationship between his parents and the great architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The author's father, the pioneer modern architect Richard Neutra, immigrated to the United States in the early 1920's with the dual motivation of working for his idol Frank Lloyd Wright and for exploring the American industrial potential for economical and light weight housing, schools, medical facilities and other "architecture of social concern." He brought his young wife with him to work for Wright in the last part of 1924 and they maintained a correspondence with Wright over the next forty years until the great man's death.
Within nine years of his arrival in the United States Richard Neutra's writings on American building practices and technology and his 1927-29 steel framed "Lovell Health House" and plan for a prefabricated Ring Plan School won him a place in the 1932 MOMA "International Style" exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. Wright's early cordiality changed to vitriol when he characterized those projects as "Cheap and Thin." Although meant as an insult, the characterization revealed a recognition of the different direction that Richard Neutra's goals had given to the basic strategies that Wright had developed twenty years earlier: Neutra wanted to develop an economic and light way to deploy technology and nature for a happy and healthy life.
The book quotes from the many letters exchanged between Wright and the Neutra's and recounts family memories of visits between them. It then explores the substantial influence of Wright on Neutra and how Neutra adapted, adopted and added strategies and design features to gradually develop what was to become mid-century "California Modern."
Purchase on Amazon
ART DECO AND MODERNE IN SALINAS
In 1924, Salinas had the highest per capita income of any
city in the United States. During the growing seasons of the Great Depression,
the volume of telephone and telegraph transmissions originating in Salinas
was greater than that of San Francisco. This activity was reflected in a
burst of building construction, many employing the streamlined shapes and
organic patterns of Art Deco or Art Moderne. Many examples remain, including
the National Register-listed Monterey County Courthouse and the Salinas
Californian newspaper building.
Photographs of these and many other structures can be seen
in their brochure which includes a street map of downtown identifying their
locations. Several other notable structures are also highlighted, including
the Victorian house where John Steinbeck was born.
Link to Brochure