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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Juan Bautista in San Benito County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Castro/Breen Adobe and Plaza Hotel

 
 
Castro/Breen Adobe and Plaza Hotel Marker image. Click for full size.
By James King, April 4, 2015
1. Castro/Breen Adobe and Plaza Hotel Marker
Inscription. The Castro/Breen adobe is associated with the early development and settlement of Mexican California. The adobe is an excellent example of blended eastern and western building methods first produced in Monterey to form the Monterey Colonial architectural style. The adobe served as headquarters and residence to Jose Antonio Castro, Commandant General of Alta California, and later to Donner Party survivors Patrick Breen and family.

The Plaza Hotel originated as a one-story adobe barracks and two-story guardhouse for soldiers protecting Mission San Juan Bautista across the street. After secularization in 1835, the building became a home and general store for the Anzar family. The building was rented and later sold to Italian immigrant Angelo Zanetta who added a wooden second story and opened the Plaza Hotel in January 1859. The hotel became noted for its fine cuisine and liquors. In the 1860s San Juan Bautista became a stop for seven stagecoach lines. The hotel welcomed travelers, business men, and traveling salesmen. When the New Idria quicksilver mine opened just to the southeast, even more patrons frequented the hotel.

Rededicated 2014, the 150th anniversary of California State Parks
 
Erected 2014 by California State Parks & Native Sons of the Golden West Historical Preservation
Plaza Hotel image. Click for full size.
By James King, April 4, 2015
2. Plaza Hotel
The marker is at the foot of the pepper tree at the left of the picture, where all the activity is.
Foundation. (Marker Number 179 & 180.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Native Sons/Daughters of the Golden West marker series.
 
Location. 36° 50.694′ N, 121° 32.152′ W. Marker is in San Juan Bautista, California, in San Benito County. Marker is on 2nd Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. The marker is beside the road, between the Castro/Breen Adobe and the Plaza Hotel. Marker is in this post office area: San Juan Bautista CA 95045, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. San Juan Bautista Historic District (a few steps from this marker); Castro - Breen Adobe (within shouting distance of this marker); El Camino Real Bell (was within shouting distance of this marker but has been reported missing. ); Progress Becomes History (within shouting distance of this marker); Town Jail (within shouting distance of this marker); Veterans of the World War (within shouting distance of this marker); Settler's Cabin (within shouting distance of this marker); Mission San Juan Bautista (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Juan Bautista.
 
Regarding Castro/Breen Adobe and Plaza Hotel.
Castro Breen Adobe State Historical Landmark
State Historian image. Click for full size.
By James King, April 4, 2015
3. State Historian
State Historian Amy Crain, Office of Historic Preservation, speaks on the historical significance of the two buildings.
No. 179
Plaza Hotel State Historical Landmark No. 180
Plaque Rededication/Ribbon Cutting

Remarks: Amy H. Crain, State Historian II
Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks
Saturday, April 4, 2015


The California Historical Landmarks Program is the oldest of California’s three registration programs, created in 1931. The very first Landmark, the Custom House, was registered in 1932.

The State Historical Resources Commission, originally the California Historical Landmarks Advisory Committee, reviews nominations, for final approval by the California State Parks Director. As part of the 150th anniversary of California State Parks in 2014, and in partnership with the Native Sons of the Golden West, the Office of Historic Preservation introduced the 150th Legacy Landmarks Project to designate new Landmarks, and update nominations and plaques at existing Landmarks, located in state parks. A usual year might include one or two California Historical Landmark nominations. In 2014 the Commission approved five new California Historical Landmarks and six updates to earlier Landmarks, bringing the total to 1,055 registered Landmarks. Nine of the eleven nominations, four new and five updates, were part of the Legacy Project.

In addition to the Castro-Breen Adobe and Plaza Hotel, this included updates to California Historical Landmarks
Castro/Breen Adobe image. Click for full size.
By James King, April 4, 2015
4. Castro/Breen Adobe
Number
• 1, Custom House, in Monterey County
• 210, Camilo-Ynitia Adobe, in Marin County
• 368, Reid-Baldwin Adobe, in Los Angeles County, and
• 390, Bridgeport Historic District, in Nevada County
New California Historical Landmarks began with Number 1050, Crystal Cove Historic District in Orange County, followed by:
• 1051, Mountain Quarries Railroad Bridge, in El Dorado and Placer Counties
• 1052, Asilomar, in Monterey County
• 1053, Sierra Railway Shops, in Tuolumne County, and
• 1054, Tomo-Kahni, in Kern County

The 150th Legacy Landmarks Project also funded a plaque for 993, Watts Towers in Los Angeles County.

A California Historical Landmark must meet at least one of the registration criteria. It must be:
• The first, last, only, or most significant historical property of its type in the region: Southern, Central, or Northern California; or
• Associated with an individual or group having a profound influence on the history of California; or
• Notable for its architecture or design

The Castro House served as headquarters to José Castro, Commandant General of the Mexican Army in Alta California, and later was the residence of Donner Party survivor Patrick Breen. The nomination was updated to officially rename the landmark the Castro-Breen Adobe in recognition of the additional significance and interpretation of Breen
Historical Preservation Foundation image. Click for full size.
By Connor Christeson, April 4, 2015
5. Historical Preservation Foundation
Past Grand President David Allen speaks about the
Native Sons of the Golden West, HPF.
family history.

The Plaza Hotel originated as a one-story adobe barracks for soldiers protecting the mission. The hotel opened by Angelo Zanetta in January 1859 remained open until it became part of California State Parks in 1933. The Plaza Hotel nomination was updated to complement its partner nomination for the Castro Breen Adobe.

Both buildings remain eligible as California Historical Landmarks as excellent examples of the blended Eastern and Western building methods first produced in Monterey to form the Monterey Colonial architectural style. Both properties are also associated with the early development and settlement of Mexican California, the California Mission system, and El Camino Real.

Twenty years ago, I met my husband through California State Parks, and as parks volunteers and members of the Alta California Dance Company we participated in several events throughout the Monterey District and beyond. In 1997 we took part in the filming of Voices of 1846, based on Memoirs of the Vallejos by Platon Vallejo. Much of the dialogue was taken from the letters and diaries of the people portrayed. Some of the scenes were filmed right here in and around the Plaza Hotel.

From State Historic Park volunteer to State Park Historian, it is my honor and privilege to represent the California State Office of Historic Preservation in the dedication
NSGW Grand President Timothy Tullius image. Click for full size.
By Connor Christeson, April 4, 2015
6. NSGW Grand President Timothy Tullius
GP Tullius opens the dedication ceremony.
of an updated plaque for this pair of California Historical Landmarks.

It is also a wonderful opportunity to recognize the Native Sons of the Golden West once more for their contribution that made the 150th Legacy Landmarks Project possible.
 
Also see . . .
1. Plaza Hotel, Castro-Breen Adobe rededicated as California Historic Landmarks. The descendants of two prominent families in early California history watched, Saturday, as two historic landmarks in San Juan Bautista were re-dedicated in a ceremony that honored their place in California’s past.
The Plaza Hotel (California State Historical Landmark 180) and the Castro-Breen Adobe (California State Historical Landmark 179) in San Juan Bautista were designated as state historical landmarks years ago. Until now, however, the distinctive plaque in front these buildings that mark many other such sites across the state was absent.
On Saturday, a bronze plaque detailing the history of both landmarks was unveiled in a ceremony that included descendants of the Castro and Breen families, as well as members of the Plaza History Association, the State Office of Historic Preservation, the Native Sons of the Golden West and Native Daughters of the Golden West....
(Submitted on April 9, 2015, by James King of San Miguel, California.) 

2. History of the San Juan Area. (Submitted on April 9, 2015, by James King of San Miguel, California.)
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
Grand 2nd Vice President Paul Lapachet image. Click for full size.
By Connor Christeson, April 4, 2015
7. Grand 2nd Vice President Paul Lapachet
Tells us about the sand and gravel used in the concrete seal.
Grand 3rd VP Erik Christeson image. Click for full size.
By Connor Christeson, April 4, 2015
8. Grand 3rd VP Erik Christeson
Speaks on the source and significance of the cement.
Sealing the Plaque image. Click for full size.
By James King, April 4, 2015
9. Sealing the Plaque
Grand President Tullius seals the plaque with concrete made from components (sand, cement, water) sourced throughout California.
Dedication Team image. Click for full size.
By Connor Christeson, April 4, 2015
10. Dedication Team
(l to r)
Past GP Barney Noel; acting Junior Past President
Grand President Timothy Tullius; President
Grand 3rd VP Erik Christeson; acting 2nd VP
Grand Marshall Jeff Schmidt; acting 3rd VP
Grand 2nd VP Paul Lapachet; acting 1st VP
Past GP David Allen; HPF Chairman
Native Sons of the Golden West image. Click for full size.
By Connor Christeson, April 4, 2015
11. Native Sons of the Golden West
State Parks Employees and Members of the Breen & Castro Families image. Click for full size.
By James King, April 4, 2015
12. State Parks Employees and Members of the Breen & Castro Families
A Historical Reenactor image. Click for full size.
By James King, April 4, 2015
13. A Historical Reenactor
Playing the hurdy-gurdy before the dedication ceremony.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 8, 2015, by James King of San Miguel, California. This page has been viewed 301 times since then and 68 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on April 8, 2015, by James King of San Miguel, California.   12. submitted on April 9, 2015, by James King of San Miguel, California.   13. submitted on April 8, 2015, by James King of San Miguel, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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