Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings
The Mexican Government established this pueblo in 1835, just after it secularized San Juan Bautista Mission. The pueblo had a population of only about 75 at the end of the Mexican period. Grouped around the original plaza today are several structures dating from the Spanish and Mexican periods. The residence and office of Gen. José Castro is a large, well preserved, two-story adobe building, built during the period 1839-41, on the west side of the plaza. North of it is the Plaza Hotel, whose first story the Spanish built about 1814 as a barracks for the soldiers from Monterey Presidio who guarded the mission. The second floor and balcony were added in 1858, when the structure was converted to hotel use. Both of these buildings are a part of San Juan Bautista State Historical Monument, and are open to visitors.
At Third and Franklin Streets is Casa de Juan Anza, a private residence, altered but in excellent condition, believed to have been built about 1799. On the north side of the plaza is San Juan Bautista Mission. It was founded in 1797, and its church built during the period 1803-12. The church is one of the largest in California; it measures 210 by 77 feet. The outer walls are largely original. The mission, open to the public, houses a museum that contains numerous historic relics.
NHL Designation: 04/15/70
Last Updated: 22-Mar-2005