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Home arrow Working with Section 106 arrow ACHP Case Digest arrow Summer 2003 arrow California: Demolition of the East and West Wings of the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey
California: Demolition of the East and West Wings of the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey

Agency: U.S. Navy

In one of the first large-scale cases where new antiterrorism standards must be weighed against the consideration of historic properties during Federal project planning, the Navy proposes to demolish two 115-year-old wings of a building that, before becoming the Naval Postgraduate School in 1951, was the Hotel Del Monte, a popular Alpine Gothic-style resort and important community landmark.

The wings, which are the 1888 resortís only original feature, are facing replacement in light of expensive repairs necessary to bring the wings up to standard safety code and the Department of Defense antiterrorism standards.

Local preservationists are concerned about the potential demolition of the National Register-eligible wings, and they have asked the Navy to re-examine certain estimated costs for the proposed repairs in an effort to save the structures.

In 2001, the U.S. Department of Defense directed the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, to prepare a comprehensive repair proposal for the school’s building, Herrmann Hall. The last major renovation of the National Register-eligible property was more than 35 years ago, and numerous engineering deficiencies needed to be addressed.

Herrmann Hall, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California

 

 

Herrmann Hall, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA (photo U.S. Navy)


 

The property began as the Hotel Del Monte, a popular resort complex constructed in an unusual Alpine Gothic style in 1880. The main building was
completely destroyed by fire in 1887, but it was rebuilt with an east and a west wing over the next year. In 1924, fire again destroyed the main building, but the wings survived.

When the main building was replaced in 1925, its style changed from Alpine Gothic to Spanish Mediterranean Revival style and it was constructed of a more fire-resistant reinforced concrete. The surviving wings were also modified at this time and some of the trim detail was removed, the wood siding was covered with stucco and the shingle roof was replaced with red clay tile.

The Navy has determined that the building’s wings cannot be economically repaired to meet current building codes and the agency’s new antiterrorism standards, which require that controlled perimeter distances, minimum standoff distances, building hardening, and “progressive collapse avoidance” measures be applied. The Navy estimated that repairs to the historic wings would cost $47 million, in contrast to $30 million to replace the structures.

Local preservationists are concerned about the potential demolition of the two wings of the Hotel Del Monte, and have asked the Navy to re-examine certain estimated costs for the proposed repairs. Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, the Navy has acknowledged that the project as planned would cause an adverse effect on the historic wings, and it proposes to conclude with a Memorandum of Agreement on the project.

In June 2003, the ACHP notified the Secretary of the Navy that it would participate in consultation on the project. That same month, the Navy recognized California Preservation Foundation and the National Trust’s Western Regional Office as additional consulting parties on the project, and held the first consultation meeting. It plans a follow-up meeting in July 2003.

Staff contact: Lee Keatinge

Updated November 20, 2003

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