Tag Archives: Lower Presidio Project


Do you like pirate stories? Do you love enhancing your knowledge about the history of Monterey and the Lower Presidio Historic Park project?

Old Monterey Foundation will hold its second free event on Friday, July 15 as part of the 2016 Lecture Series sponsored by The Marcia F. Devoe Fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County for the third year.

Author Michael Melzer presents his new biography of Hippolite Bouchard, The Patriot Pirate. Bouchard (January 15, 1780–January 4, 1837) was a French Argentine sailor and privateer who fought for France, Argentina, Chile, and Peru. Pursuing the war of rebellion against Spain, Bouchard was the first Argentine to circumnavigate the world when he attacked the Spanish ciudad of Monterey, California, raised the Argentine flag and held the town for six days in November, 1818. This was the only land-sea battle fought on the West Coast of the United States. Argentina remembers him as the South American equivalent of our John Paul Jones.

Following Mr. Melzer’s lecture, Frank Sollecito, President of the Old Monterey Foundation Board of Directors, will present a short overview of improvements planned for the Lower Presidio Historic Park and Vizcaino Park.

When: Friday, July 15, 2016 – 6:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
Where: Irvine Auditorium, McCone Building, MIIS; 499 Pierce Street, Monterey

Free Admission – Reception and book signing to follow

About Michael Melzer

Michael Melzer has a passion for California history, and has published his first book, The Patriot Pirate. He has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Maryland, after spending time studying film, and video production at the University of Wisconsin.

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

Become a Friend of the Lower Presidio

“Friends of the Lower Presidio” Campaign Launched to Raise Private Funds to Restore the Beautiful 25.3-Acre Historic Park Overlooking the Monterey Bay


February 22, 2016. Monterey, CA.  The Lower Presidio Historic Park, described as “The Most Historically Significant Site on the West Coast” and “One of the Most Beautiful Places in Monterey” is on its way to becoming a true historic public park to be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Old Monterey Foundation, in cooperation with the City of Monterey and the Department of the Army, has raised initial funds to complete Phase One of the project to enhance and restore this historic 25.3-acre site and is now seeking public donations to help complete Phase One of the $680,000 project. Old Monterey Foundation invites everyone to become members of “Friends of the Lower Presidio” and make tax-deductible donations to more quickly restore the park.  Our goal is to obtain private donations of $50,000 or more, to combine with funds already received or anticipated to compete the initial phase of the Plan by the end of 2016.

The Lower Presidio Historic Park is one of the least-visited historic parks in the area due to some confusion about whether the public is allowed in the area.   Situated in a “hidden in plain sight” location, the Park can be found on Corporal Ewing Drive above Pacific Street at the Lighthouse Curve in Downtown Monterey. The park features spectacular views of the Monterey Bay and Harbor and will become a jewel of the City of Monterey’s park system.sierra_ship web

To become a member of “Friends of the Lower Presidio”, individuals and businesses can donate at www.oldmontereyfoundation.org or call (831) 521-2313 for more information.  Donations to “Friends of Lower Presidio” can be accessed from a pull down menu at the upper right of the site, and donations can be made by any major credit card or PayPal.  These donations will help Old Monterey Foundation to complete the immediate goal of completing Phase One of the project in 2016, and allow progress toward completing Phases Two and Three in time for the 200th Anniversary of the Bouchard Raid in 1818 and Monterey’s 250th birthday in June 2020.

Click Here To Become a Friend of the Lower Presidio.

Checks may also be sent to: Old Monterey Foundation, 98 Del Monte Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940.

Note: All donations are tax-deductible. Federal Tax ID#45- 1343649, Old Monterey Foundation. For additional information, call (831) 521-2313. Individuals can choose to give anonymously or receive recognition as described below.

Get Recognized! Become a Donor or Sponsor of the Lower Presidio 

$50 Donation – Friend

  • Receives Lower Presidio Historic Park Quarterly Newsletter
  • Invitation to all LPHP events.

$100 and more Founding Friend

  • Receives Commemorative Pin

    Friends Pin
  • Lower Presidio Historic Park Quarterly Newsletter
  • Invitation to all LPHP events
  • With confirmation of interest, donor receives a mention on the website, and mention on Facebook.

$500 – Sebastian Viscaino Sponsor

  • Company or Name included in Opening Event Thank You Ad
  • Private Tour of Lower Presidio Historic Park
  • Company or Name listing in Quarterly Newsletter
  • Commemorative Pin

$1000 – Gaspar de Portola Sponsor

Receives all of the above benefits plus…

  • Permanent acknowledgement and Company logo on Old Monterey Foundation website
  • Acknowledgement at Grand Opening event
  • 2 VIP invitations to Grand Opening event

$2500 – Ft. Mervine Sponsor

Receives all of the above benefits plus…

  • Logo Opportunity in Official Park Map
  • Permanent Company or Name listed on Recognition Wall
  • Company listing in Lower Presidio Historic Park press releases
  • Permanent Acknowledgement and Company logo on Old Monterey Foundation website
  • Company or Name included in Opening Event Thank You Ad

$5000 – Commodore Sloat Sponsor

Receives all of the above benefits plus…

  • Logo Opportunity in Official Park Brochure
  • Company Banner display at Grand Opening event (5’ banner)
  • 4 VIP invitations to Grand Opening event
  • VIP invitations to other Old Monterey Foundation events

$10,000 – El Castillo Sponsor

Receives all of the above benefits plus…

• Introduction/Opportunity to Speak (2-3 mins) at Grand Opening event

With the help of donations and grants, Phase One of the project will give the Lower Presidio Historic Park the look and feel of an historic public park, including improved way-finding and identification entry signs to assist the public in accessing the site and highlighting several of the important historic periods at the Presidio; development of pathways, benches and interpretive signs and monuments on the site; replacement of the old cyclone perimeter fence with a wood-appearing historically accurate fence, minimal branch/tree removal where necessary to assure views of the Monterey Harbor and restore it to the way it was seen historically; and development of an ADA approved path leading to the Sloat Monument, the highest point of the site. Headless Padre Serra Old Monterey Foundation is now also seeking funds to restore the Father Serra statue that was recently vandalized.

So far, $365,000 has been raised of an anticipated $680,000 cost for Phase One, including $215,000 from Monterey’s Neighborhood Improvement Program, $50,000 from The Community Foundation for Monterey County for the Park’s new fence, and $20,000 from the Monterey Peninsula Foundation for a public relations fund and signs. The Monterey Regional Park District has donated $2,500, while the Monterey County Gives! Campaign contributed $4,000.  Most recently, the Rotary Club of Monterey has graciously adopted the Park improvements as its “legacy project” and has committed $50,000 to the final design, construction and installation of unique signs into and around the Park.

Proposed entrance Sign at Artillery Gate
All Signs

Old Monterey Foundation continues to work with many other stakeholder groups, including City of Monterey, Old Monterey Business Association, Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District, State of California and more. They look forward to collaborating with the public and other organizations locally and throughout the world.

Eric Palmer and Anne McGrath of the City of Monterey Outreach Office recently completed an informative short video about the Lower Presidio Historic Park and its significance to California and American history:  https://youtu.be/Lg7X0spnC4k

Continue reading Become a Friend of the Lower Presidio