The restoration of the Rancho San Andrés Castro Adobe, the focal point of Castro Adobe State Historic Park in Watsonville, reached a new milestone Saturday with the start of Phase 2 Major Construction.
Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks have been working together for several years to restore the historic two-story adobe and begin a phased opening of the new State Historic Park. Work done to date includes earthquake repairs constructed using handmade adobe bricks, major seismic stabilization, preservation and restoration of the exterior walls and roof, restoration of the historic cocina (kitchen) and the Potter-Church Garden, and installation of an ADA accessible parking space and pathway to the adobe.
The phased opening of the new State Historic Park began earlier this year with monthly open house days, development of a Castro Adobe Teacher’s Guide and bilingual (English/Spanish) curriculum for school children studying California’s Rancho Period, school field trips for local elementary school students, and the hiring of a new State Park Interpreter dedicated to the Castro Adobe four days per week.
Phase 2 Major Construction kicked off during Saturday’s open house. The work will include construction of new interior stairs to create a larger space for the interpretation of the second floor fandango (dance) room, installation of a lift to make the second story fully accessible to all, final tie-in to the seismic stabilization system, and installation of a structural steel beam to strengthen the second floor, making it accessible to groups of school children and other park visitors.