The Cooper Molera Adobe preserves life from the era when Monterey was part of Mexico to the beginnings of California statehood. This three-acre site includes a house built by several generations of the Cooper and Molera families, historic barns, vegetable and flower gardens, and an extensive museum store.
Similar to the Speedway building, the Cooper-Molera property was conceived to play a role as both a physical and interpretive gateway for the surrounding community and link different points in the local history. Both projects also share the same vision of having community-oriented uses as well as being compatible for commercial spaces that are appropriate for the historic context.
As a result of the additional engagement with local stakeholders, the National Trust developed a set of parameters to guide its further consideration of a new “shared use” operating model. Some of the parameters included the following:
-The new model should bring culture, commerce, and California history to life in a way that increases the site’s value.
-The new operating model should include compelling historical narrative and educational programs.
-The commercial activities that will be added should complement the public interpretation and education of the site and help better engage potential audiences.
The solution for Cooper-Molera is not a one-time fix but instead, a long term approach that could provide an innovative but flexible solution for the site. Input from the city and state, as well as the community in Monterey, California, is necessary to come up with a successful adaptive reuse of Cooper-Molera. Ultimately, the solution that is created will hopefully serve as a model for other historic sites across the country facing the same issue.