The Old Monterey Foundation has submitted an application to Monterey’s Neighborhood Improvement Committee to grant funding for preliminary development of the Lower Presidio Historic Park Master Plan. The proposal, filed on December 10, 2014, is currently wending its way through the NIP process, which consists of estimating costs by the City Engineer, presenting the actual project to the Committee van tour and testimony during regular NIP meetings at City Hall, and then competitive voting on April 23, 2015. Thereafter, the City Council reviews and approves final selection of projects for funding during June.

A copy of our application can be found here.

Lower Presidio V6 Page 1Lower Presidio V6 mapOMF has defined the Preliminary Phase one of the Plan to include those developments that are necessary to identify the site as a public park and encourage the public’s use by providing the minimum amenities necessary interpret the site as an historic park. They include, in order of priority:

  • Erection of signage and way finding markers sufficient to identify the park and direct the pubic to free entrance;
  • Erection of an historically accurate wooden fence around the perimeter of the site, replacing the cyclone fence now in place;
  • Installation of a path and benches along the Presidio Hill to interpret the view from El Castillo;
  • Removal of historically inaccurate trees along the perimeter that block the historic view of the harbor; and
  • Creation of a path from the museum up the hill to the Sloat Monument, which has been inaccessible to automobiles since 2001.

CW - 29 Presidio MapLast week, the City Engineer determined a cost estimate for all of these improvements at $652,000. The breakdown is as follows:

Your NIP submittal: Accomplish preliminary implementation of Master Plan approved in 2002. Below is the preliminary estimate for $652,000 as follows:

  • Priority #1, $9,000 is installation of way finding and entrance signage that identifies the Lower Presidio Historic Park.
  • Priority #2, $100,000 is removal of the existing chain link fencing above Lighthouse Avenue, replacing the fencing with historic wood fencing.  New fencing to use existing fence post holes.
  • Priority #3, $206,000 is construction of a colored concrete walking path and benches at the Serra Monument and to overlook the bay.  Included is new accessible parking space and curb ramp as required for ADA compliance.
  • Priority #4, $98,000 is trimming and removal of cypress trees above Lighthouse Avenue, to improve the view from the Serra Monument and discourage camping in the cypress grove.
  • Priority #5, $245,000 is construction of a colored concrete walking path to and benches at the Sloat Monument.  Included is new accessible parking space and curb ramp as required for ADA compliance.

This would be a very large chunk of the $2.5 million available to NIP for funding this year. Consequently the Board will have to consider prioritizing the project to accommodate the prospect that all of our request will not be funded this year by the NIP, which has many other worthy projects to consider for allocation.

Any shortfall, will then become the subject of grant requests to other historic sources and philanthropies throughout the region and even nationally.