The Carmel Mission Foundation was established to restore and preserve the historic buildings, grounds, and artifacts throughout the Carmel Mission, founded in 1771. The Foundation is a 501(c)3 Corporation independent from any religious organizations. The Carmel Mission is a U.S. National Historic Landmark, a California State Landmark, and is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places.
The Big Idea
The Downie Museum and Basilica Forecourt Restoration will preserve a 100-year-old adobe museum and restore the front courtyard of Carmel Mission in time to commemorate the 250th anniversary of its founding in fall of 2021. The Downie Museum adobe is rich with history, not only from the past 100 years, but also has ties to early mission life. This project will seismically strengthen the adobe, which is structurally deteriorating, add two new ADA restrooms and double the museum exhibit space to highlight the mission’s great restoration story, displaying artifacts of early mission life unearthed during 1919-1951. The Basilica Forecourt will be graded to remedy flooding issues affecting the foundation of the Basilica, built in 1797. Step-free pathways will improve visitor safety and provide ADA access throughout the gardens and museum. The front wall that was removed this summer due to deterioration will be rebuilt with a new arrival patio and entrance to the grounds and museums. These upgrades will not only restore this incredible landmark, but enhance the experience for over 300,000 people, including over 6,000 students who visit annually. With the current closure of the mission due to Covid-19 restrictions, starting this project now will help immensely with the recovery of the Mission and our community. With only $570,000 needed to finalize funding for this restoration, your donation will make a significant impact on the successful completion of this project in time to celebrate the 250th anniversary next year.
We are incredibly fortunate to have a 249-year-old National Historic Landmark here in Monterey County that helps educate our youth on the historical importance of Carmel and Monterey in California history. We owe it to our children and our children's children to do our part in preserving this landmark.
- Lindsay B