The Cooper-Molera Adobe historic site in Monterey represents the rich history and complex origins of the state of California. Dating from 1827, the 2.4-acre site comprise adobe residences, an adobe warehouse and corner store, and a multi-building barn complex, all surrounded by an original adobe wall.
Through a non-profit/developer partnership, the Cooper-Molera project presents a new approach to the house museum model, balancing compelling historic interpretation and educational programs with appropriate and complementary commercial uses.
- Cooper-Molera and Diaz Adobes: Continued use as house museum and focal point for public interpretation of the history of the site.
- Corner Store: Rehabilitated for bakery use.
- Corner Store Addition: Reconstructed 1980s building as bakery kitchen and ADA restrooms on footprint of 1880s structure.
- Spear Warehouse: Rehabilitated for restaurant use.
- North Barn, Shed Addition, South Barn: Adaptive reuse as an Event Center. Seismic strengthening and rehabilitation efforts addressed significant wood deterioration while preserving the barns’ original character.
- Landscape: Designed for community-oriented programs, educational, and event uses; ADA path of travel from entrance gates to building entrances and all levels of outdoor areas.
- New Infill Construction: Commercial kitchen and new storage shed addition. Placement and design of these new structures was based on the pattern of development throughout the history of the site.
The project preserves Cooper-Molera’s organically developed character while maintaining the site’s inherent warmth, beauty, and authenticity. Meanwhile, combining interpretive aspects as well as compatible income-generating commercial use ensures a long-term revenue stream to reinvest in maintenance and stewardship of the property.