Restoration of Rancho San Andrés Castro Adobe


 | May 12, 2023

Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks (Friends) today announced Rancho San Andrés Castro Adobe has been recognized with a 2023 Preservation Design Award for Restoration from the California Preservation Foundation.

The two-story Castro Adobe, constructed 1849-50 and damaged in the 1989 earthquake, was restored through a special collaboration between California State Parks, Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and hundreds of community members. Restoration was completed in 2022 and the Castro Adobe is now open to the public on a limited basis as Castro Adobe State Historic Park, the first State Historic Park in the Pajaro Valley and the newest in California.

The restoration project was selected for the award by a jury of top professionals in the fields of architecture, engineering, planning and history, as well as renowned architecture critics and journalists.

“We are deeply honored by this award,” Friends Executive Director Bonny Hawley said. “The community-led efforts to restore the Castro Adobe came from a place of great appreciation for the cultural history of the property. Our goal has always been to create a space that can tell these stories to generations to come and it’s meaningful to have that work recognized.”

In 2007, Friends began the years-long effort to restore the Rancho San Andrés Castro Adobe in collaboration with California State Parks. Over the next 15 years, Friends, State Parks, and the community came together to repair and restore the historic adobe inside and out. Work included earthquake repairs using hundreds of 85-pound adobe bricks made on site; seismic stabilization and a new roof; strengthening the second story with the insertion of an innovative steel beam; installation of a lift to guarantee universal access to the second floor; the addition of electrical and fire suppression systems; restoration of the historic cocina (kitchen) and the Potter-Church Garden; procurement of historic furnishings and completion of interpretive planning.

Friends produced an award-winning short documentary to mark the completion of the restoration:

The Preservation Design Award for Restoration was presented to Friends and State Parks staff during a ceremony in San Francisco on April 20, 2023. The Castro Adobe was one of three projects from around the state honored that received an award for restoration this year. Since 1983, over 600 projects have been recognized with a Preservation Design Award. The jury selects projects that have furthered, to a notable degree, the purposes of the profession, consistent with the California Preservation Foundation’s mission.

About The California Preservation Foundation 

The California Preservation Foundation (CPF), a 501c3 nonprofit, was incorporated in 1978 and now supports a national network of more than 30,000 members and supporters.

The California Preservation Awards are a statewide hallmark, showcasing the best in historic preservation. The awards ceremony includes the presentation of the Preservation Design Awards and the President’s Awards, bringing together hundreds of people each year to share and celebrate excellence in preservation.

About Castro Adobe State Historic Park 

Located in Larkin Valley, near Watsonville, the two-story Castro Adobe, built between 1849-1850, is one of the finest examples of a rancho hacienda in the Monterey Bay area. The property includes the restored cocina (kitchen) and the Potter-Church Garden, a unique outdoor space originally created by then-owners (1968-72) Elizabeth and David Potter in consultation with noted landscape architect Thomas Church. Friends is leading a multi-year restoration effort to preserve and interpret the new State Historic Park in partnership with California State Parks. Watch a short video about the restoration effort:

About Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks 

Established in 1976, Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks (Friends) is a vital partner with California State Parks, creatively working to ensure our cherished local parks and beaches are thriving and available to all. Friends’ innovative and collaborative community partnership provides support and investment for education, equity and inclusion, conservation, facilities improvements, historic preservation and cultural events. Friends currently operates a robust online ParkStore offering nature- and history-themed merchandise for sale to benefit local parks and beaches. Friends also operates ParkStores at Natural Bridges, New Brighton, Santa Cruz Mission, Seacliff and Wilder Ranch. Learn more at or via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.

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