Category Archives: News and Announcements

ADA Pathways Groundbreaking Ceremony

On August 14th, Board Members of Old Monterey Foundation, City of Monterey officials and staff, Garrison Commander Lawrence Brown, NIP representatives and others gathered for a well-attended Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new ADA Pathways to be constructed at Lower Presidio Historic Park.

For more information, to make a donation or become a Friend of the Lower Presidio, call  (831) 346-3030

About the Lower Presidio Historic Park


“Picnic in the Park at Lower Presidio Historic Park” on Saturday, July 1 attracts hundreds of people to enjoy family-friendly event

July 5, 2017. Kicking off the 4th of July holiday weekend, Old Monterey Foundation held its first ever “Picnic in the Park” at Lower Presidio Historic Park on Saturday, July 1, 2017, a well-attended free family-friendly event! Hundreds of people attended this “FUNdraiser” and enjoyed great food, live entertainment, historic reenactments, walking tours, costume contests, scavenger hunt, prizes and much more. They learned that Old Monterey Foundation is continuing to raise funds to develop trails and interpretive signs for all the monuments to enhance and restore this park which is considered “The Most Historically Significant Site on the West Coast” and how they can donate to support this project. Attendees also enjoyed the spectacular views of the beautiful Monterey Bay, Old Fisherman’s Wharf and the Monterey Harbor at this park that is hidden in plain view as well as the restored Saint Serra statue.

After a welcome by Bill Wojtkowski, President, Old Monterey Foundation, the event continued with an Opening Prayer by Louise J. Miranda Ramirez, Tribal Chairwoman of the Ohlone/ Costanoan-Esselen Nation who later gave a brief presentation about their important history at the Lower Presidio Historic Park. Attendees enjoyed several great musical sets from Derek Bodkin & the Hovering Breadcat Folk Ensemble who performed crowd-pleasing folk, rock and seafaring music.  They also enjoyed the local youth dance troupe performances from DiFranco DanceProject and Ragamuffin Musical Theatre Company of Pacific Grove. Attendees sampled food from several food trucks, Taste of Mexico, Indian Gourmet, Poke Lab, and enjoyed other sweet treats and brews, including wine and beer.

A crowd-pleasing highlight was the historic costumed reenactment during the Picnic in the Park event. Argentinian Privateer Hippolyte Bouchard (regarded by his victims as a pirate) and his loyal crew reenacted the colorful capture of the Presidio of Monterey (El Castillo) in 1818.  Reenactor Maria Antoni Pico’s shared a fascinating recollection of the battle as well.

Picnic in the Park also featured costume contests with prizes for best dressed pirate-both kids and adult with lots of pirate booty, photo ops with pirates and historic reenactors, a scavenger hunt with prizes and face painting for the kids. Attendees took free Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tours with historian Tim Thomas and he shared fascinating historic highlights about the park.  They also visited the Presidio of Monterey Museum, also located on the site and operated by the City of Monterey, and viewed exhibits, artifacts, and videos that lead visitors through Monterey’s various stages of military development from the indigenous period which highlights the area’s native populations, through the Spanish and Mexican periods and up to present day.

Sponsors of Picnic in the Park included KSBW 8 NBC, Central Coast ABC and Estrella TV Costa, Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association and Peter B’s Brewpub.

For more information about how to get involved and support Old Monterey Foundation’s Lower Presidio Historic Park Project and become a Friend of the Lower Presidio, call (831) 346-3030 or email

Hein, Dausen, Martin, and Rodriguez Join OMF Board of Directors

The Old Monterey Foundation (OMF) is pleased to announce four additions to its Board of Directors, beginning January 1, 2017: Brian Hein, Food & Beverage Manager at the Portola Hotel & Spa; Peter G. Dausen, Deputy Naval Support Activity Monterey; Ellen Martin, Art administrator and Executive Director for First Night Monterey; Esther Rodriguez, retired Human Resource Manager and fundraising volunteer for CSUMB, Monterey Library and other organizations. They will join other Directors: Toy Bryant, Mary Lou Cortright, John Gibbons, Salah Laasri, Fred Meuer, Bill McCrone, Frank Solecito, Melissa Thoeny, Steve Vagnini, Bill Wojtkowski. Officers for 2017 will be: Bill Wotjkowski, President, Frank Sollecito, Past President, John Gibbons, CPS, Chief Financial officer/Treasurer, Bill McCrone, Secretary.

The Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) organization and is organized to promote, support and enhance the artistic and cultural environment of historic downtown Monterey, California. OMF is concluding its fifth year in operation and has many accomplishments, including presenting Art in the Adobes for three consecutive years, organizing more than a dozen lectures on significant historic topics free to the public, working with the City Cultural Arts Commission to raise funds to refurbish Monterey’s handpainted Angel street decorations. The major project at present is raising awareness and funds to implement the City’s plan for the Lower Presidio Historic Park. Announcement will be made soon concerning the installation of the major “public welcome” sign at the park entrance.

September 17 Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tours to Focus on the Native People of Monterey – the Rumsien/Ohlone

Old Monterey Foundation continues to team up with noted Monterey Bay historian and author Tim Thomas to offer outstanding Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tours on the third Saturday of every month from 10:00 AM to Noon.

The next walking tour on Saturday, September 17, 2016 will focus on the Native People of Monterey – the Rumsien/Ohlone.

There is archaeological evidence of prehistoric indigenous tribes, the Rumsien/Ohlone people, living at what is now the Lower Presidio Historic Park about 10,000 years ago. The remains of abalone shell fragments in the soil are evidence to all of us today. Tim Thomas will discuss their lives and the fascinating history of the Park.

Tours meet in front of the City of Monterey’s Presidio of Monterey Museum, 113 Corporal Ewing, Building #113. From Monterey, take Pacific Street past the Monterey Conference Center and the First Theater to the end of Pacific where it forks, take the left fork;, turn left onto Artillery Road, turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it a short way to the Presidio of Monterey Museum in the center of the Park against the hill; from Pacific Grove, take Lighthouse Avenue in New Monterey, bear right to go onto Pacific Street and then go to Artillery Road, turn right, and then turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it to the Presidio of Monterey Museum.

Advance reservations are required by calling Tim Thomas at (831) 521-3304 or emailing The tour is for ages 10-adult only and the cost is $20 for adults and $15 for kids 10-15 years. Group rates are also available.

About Tim Thomas

About the Lower Presidio Historic Park

September 8 Lecture on “The Figure in Art on the Monterey Peninsula and Beyond”

Old Monterey Foundation will hold its fourth and final free event as part of the 2016 Lecture Series on Thursday, September 8 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. The Lecture Series is sponsored by The Marcia F. Devoe Fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County for the third year as well as MIddlebury Institute of International Studies.

While the natural environment of the central coast has captivated artists from all eras, the figure has been just as enchanting. Painters such as Joan Savo, Charles Eckart, and Theophilus Brown depict figures in enigmatic poses both real and imagined, while photographers such as Ansel Adams, Dorthea Lange, and Pirkle Jones show us the rituals and circumstances of people caught in a moment of time. During this lecture, Ami Davis will discuss how the figurative tradition in painting, sculpture and photography influenced artists on the Monterey Peninsula and beyond in the Bay Area. She will present masterpieces from the Monterey Museum of Art’s collection of Monterey artists and explore their significance within the context of Western art history. This lecture complements the permanent collection exhibitions, “Re:Pose: Paintings” and “Re:Pose: Photography,” on view at the Monterey Museum of Art, Pacific Street, starting the summer of 2016.

Ami Davis (2)A
Ami Davis has been an art museum professional since 1998. She holds an M.A. in Art History from California State University, San Jose. She has served institutions such as the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Monterey Museum of Art, the Orange County Museum of Art, San Jose Museum of Art, and the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History. She has also served as an instructor for courses in contemporary art at UCLA Extension and has been a panelist and presenter at numerous national museum conferences. She works toward making art meaningful and dynamic for all communities.


Free Admission-Reception to Follow

This lecture is suitable for ages 9 and up

For more information, call (831) 346-3030.

The lectures are very popular so attendees are urged to come early to secure a seat.

Image: Roland Petersen (1926 – ), Untitled (abstract figures), 1961, oil on board. Collection Monterey Museum of Art, gift of Barbara and William Hyland. © Roland Petersen