- Salinas, CA
- Site Type:
- Civic Facilities, Courthouses (State & Local)
- New Deal Agencies:
- Public Works Funding, Public Works Administration (PWA)
- Jo Mora
- Robert Stanton
- Quality of Information:
- Very Good
- Site Survival:
The Public Works Administration (PWA) helped fund construction of the magnificent Monterey County courthouse in downtown Salinas, California, which opened in 1937. New Deal funds supplemented a local bond issue to cover the cost of this large building, which covers a square block.
The cornerstone makes it clear that New Deal funding came from the PWA, not the Works Progress Administration (WPA), as claimed by the nearby historical marker. This is a common mistake, given the similarity of PWA and WPA.
Robert Stanton was the architect and the design is Classical Moderne. It was built with a large courtyard, which originally surrounded a much older Victorian courthouse that was torn down as soon as its functions could be transferred to the new structure.
Eminent California sculptor Jo Mora did the sculptures on the exterior of the building: bas-relief heads all around the outside, plaques and capitals at the main entrance in the courtyard, and a pillar in the courtyard fountain (see accompanying entries).
Chester R. Phillips was the project manager for the courthouse construction. It was listed on the National Register of Historical Places in 2008.
The courthouse was renovated in 2018 and now houses the Superior Court of Monterey Countym the District Attorney’s office, Civil Grand Juries and a Law Library, while the California Superior court moved to a new building across the street.
National Register of Historic Places Registration form, 2008: (https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/GetAsset/ee0db97b-d333-4105-a007-172c6e9963d6), (https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/GetAsset/869c7a33-1714-49b3-9df5-843427601d19/), accessed September 5, 2018.
Site originally submitted by Peter Hiller, Jo Mora Collection Curator on July 28, 2008.
Additional contributions by Colleen Bailey, Richard Walker.
At this Location:
- Monterey County Courthouse: Mora Bas Relief Heads - Salinas CA
- Monterey County Courthouse: Mora Bas-Relief Scenes - Salinas CA
- Monterey County Courthouse: Mora Bas-Relief Capitals - Salinas CA
- Monterey County Courthouse: Mora Fountain Pillar - Salinas CA
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