All posts tagged: Cooper-Molera Adobe

Restored Franklin Theatre

Legacy and promise

NOTE: This post first appeared on the Preservation Leadership Forum blog.  It is adapted from remarks I made at the February 23, 2019, National Trust for Historic Preservation Board of Trustees meeting, my last Board meeting after more than two decades with the National Trust. Over the past 22 years, I made it a practice to regularly reflect on both the legacy and the promise of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. We were founded by Congressional Charter after America’s leaders had seen the destruction that war could inflict not only on people but also on a nation’s culture and heritage. Our founding chairman, David Finley, was one of the famous Monuments Men who risked their lives to save the cultural patrimony of Europe during World War II. Bill Murtagh, an early predecessor of mine in senior management, went on to a distinguished career in preservation as the first Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places, establishing the tool to tell America’s story. Clearly, we stand on the shoulders of giants. The National Trust …

Lone Cypress

Pacific Grove-by-God

For several years I’ve regularly traveled for work to Monterey, California, a small coastal city some two hours south of San Francisco. So when we went looking for a west coast destination for this year’s family vacation, I suggested we check out the Monterey Peninsula.  Now that we’ve wrapped up a week-long visit to Pacific Grove—next-door neighbor to the city of Monterey—we’re just coming to realize how much we’ve seen and explored in this new (to us) part of the world. Let’s begin with the coastline, the attraction to visitors for thousands of years.  I awoke every day shortly after 6 a.m. and went for walks of as much as two hours along the well-used (and well-loved) Monterey Bay Coastal Trail.  Pacific Grove’s portion of this 18-mile trail, which follows the path of the old Southern Pacific Railroad train tracks, hews close to the water and rock-strewn coastline, while Monterey’s comes inland a bit to incorporate Cannery Row, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Fisherman’s Wharf.  My walk often began before sunrise and was shrouded in …

Cooper-Molera Garden

To learn something new (about old places), bring in new partners with different perspectives

At the National Trust for Historic Places, where I work, we believe that historic sites are fundamentally places of intersection. When we allow them to share their stories, historic sites are dynamic spaces where past, present, and future meet in a variety of ways.  One very important way they intersect is with community. About ten days ago, I visited Cooper-Molera, one of our National Trust historic sites where delight and enjoyment are at the heart of our community intersections.  Cooper-Molera is a two and one-half acre property in the heart of downtown Monterey, California’s historic commercial district. There we are implementing a new model that combines commercial uses and interpretation in creative ways.  We will have a bakery, restaurant, and event center in adaptively used historic buildings operating in collaboration with museum uses in one of the adobe residences to reinvigorate the site, sustain it financially and engage audiences that might never visit a historic site or house museum. Those are the people we should all want to meet at this intersection. We call this …

Check Off Another One!

My goodness, it has been a busy week of travel! Attend the Main Street Now 2016 conference on Monday and Tuesday in Milwaukee and get energized by all the work going on in downtowns across the country – check. Stop by and visit the amazing Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory Domes in Milwaukee – check. Catch a bad head cold and endure a 4 1/2 hour flight from Chicago to San Francisco – unplanned, but check. Have lunch in Carmel with one of the elder statesmen of preservation – the indefatigable Knox Mellon and his wife Carlotta – check. Celebrate the beginning of the construction phase of our work at Cooper-Molera historic site with more than 100 people from the city staff, California State Parks, our local stakeholders, and our development partners in Monterey – check. Over a wonderful dinner celebration in Monterey, talk baseball with the wife of one of our partners at Cooper- Molera, who has the perfect marriage…she’s a Red Sox fan and her husband is a Giants fan…so on the west coast …

NYC: Continuing a Spring Break Tradition

This is a tradition that begins with an oft-told story. When Claire was in fourth grade, she returned home from school one day to announce that the teacher had asked everyone to tell the class what their parents did for a living.  So I asked Claire, “What did you say?”  She replied, “I said my father signs papers and goes to meetings.” In her own straight-forward, fourth grade sense of the world, she was correct, and I told her so.  But I also said that meetings and papers were not why I worked.  And from that conversation, the annual Spring Break trip to get to know Daddy’s world was born. A few weeks later I spoke to my then-boss and said I’d like to take one child with me on a trip during Spring Break to see the work of the National Trust.  Dick blessed the idea, saying he had done something similar when he worked in the White House. My rules:  it had to be a legitimate work trip where they could see some …