Castro Adobe Restoration Completed After Two-Decade Effort
The restoration of a 175-year-old historic property in Santa Cruz County’s Pajaro Valley is now complete, following a twenty-year collaborative effort to preserve the former home – one of just four adobe buildings left in the region and the only two-story adobe remaining. The signature point of interest at Castro Adobe State Historic Park, the adobe was constructed between 1849 and 1850 toward the end of the Rancho Period, is an excellent example of Monterey Colonial architecture.
Restoration efforts over the last two decades included earthquake repairs using handmade 85-pound adobe bricks; seismic stabilization and a new roof; strengthening the second story with 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 Potter-Church garden; procurement and historic furnishings and completion of interpretive planning.
When built, the Castro Adobe became famous for having a Fandango room on the second floor where parties and special celebrations were held. Outside the Fandango room, a balcony surrounds the length of the house, which provides a beautiful view of the Pajaro Valley. The Castro Adobe features an indoor kitchen and is one of only a few Mexican Rancho kitchens in California that can still be viewed.
Juan Jose Castro and Rita Pinto Castro were the original owners of the adobe and lived on the 8,800-acre Rancho San Andres with their 12 children and was the home of the prosperous and prominent Castro family for many years. California State Park docents provide free 90-minute guided tours of the adobe at Castro Adobe State Park on a monthly basis.