Royal Presidio Chapel Monterey, California

Cathedral of San Carlos Borromeo – Royal Presidio Chapel

The original chapel on this site was built by Father Junipero Serra in the 1770’s.  The current chapel, built in 1794, is a National Historic Landmark, and is considered the first architect-designed building in California.  The site redesign completed in 2009 was an integral part of the historic preservation and seismic retrofit of the building.  The locations of the earlier chapel and barrack walls discovered by an archeologist during the project are now reflected in paving patterns and engraving of the new travertine plazas.  A new fruit orchard behind the chapel and kitchen garden plants such as lavender and olive in the gardens reflect the traditional use of plants on the site. Access and presence from the street has been improved, religious sculptures are highlighted, and small gardens with benches provide quieter spots for chapel visitors.

Client/Owner: Roman Catholic Diocese of Monterey
Award: California Preservation Foundation, 2009 Design Award