Explore Historic Monterey


The Explore Historic Monterey cell phone tours and brochure were made possible by a Preserve America grant from the National Park Service.

Preserving History

Restored Pacific Biological Laboratories specimen tanks

Ed Ricketts’ Marine Specimen Tanks, 1928-1948

In October 2010, as part of a grant awarded to the City of Monterey by the Community Foundation for Monterey County, conservators stabilized and protected the concrete specimen tanks located in back of the Pacific Biological Laboratories building. Marine biologist Ed Ricketts used the tanks to store marine specimens for his research and in preparation for shipment to schools, universities and museums. The tanks were originally built by Vicente Rodriguez, the previous owner of the Lab site, who used them for his fish salting and sardine pressing operation. Ricketts began using the tanks when he moved to the site in 1928.

Featured News and Events
2015 Schedule of Free Tours at Pacific Biological Laboratories (Ed Ricketts' Lab)

2015 Schedule of Free Tours at Pacific Biological Laboratories (Ed Ricketts' Lab)

April 11, May 9, June 13, July 18, August 15, September 19, October 3 and November 14, 2015

We are pleased to offer free one-hour tours of the Pacific Biological Laboratories (Ed Ricketts’ Lab) at 800 Cannery Row.  Tours will be held once a month. Tours times: 9 am, 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2 pm, and 3:30 pm.

Lab Docents will tell the history of marine biologist Ed Ricketts, his friendship and collaboration with John Steinbeck, and of the "PBL Members" who bought the Lab in the mid-1950s and who were instrumental in the founding of the Monterey Jazz Festival.

Tours also feature a scale model of the Lab in the 1940s, created by Bill Johnk.  There will be opportunities for visitors to purchase a copy of a special photo-bookplated editions of John Steinbeck’s books plus other local authors.With the purchase of a book and a minimum $ 5.00 donation, visitors will receive a tax-deductible donation receipt. Free, light refreshments will also be served.

Reservations for these popular tours are limited and may be made by contacting the Colton Hall Museum at 831-646-5640. Reservations must be made by 4:00 pm the Friday before the tour. Contact the Museum (646-5640) in advance if you cannot attend the tour. The City of Monterey is committed to include the disabled in all of its services, programs and activities.  If you require a hearing amplification device to attend an event, dial 711 to use CRS to talk to the City Museums Division Office at (831) 646-5648 to coordinate use of a device or for information.

Request for Proposal: Colton Hall Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Study with Recommendations

Proposals Due April 23, 2015

Colton Hall Museum Conditions Update and Preservation Maintenance Program

The Colton Hall Conditions Update & Preservation Maintenance Program document may be accessed by the following links:

Part 1: Pages i thru A-15 /Portals/28/pdfs/Part-1.pdf

Part 2: Pages A-16 thru A-35 /Portals/28/pdfs/Part-2.pdf

Part 3: Pages A-36 thru A-55 /Portals/28/pdfs/Part-3_2.pdf

Part 4: Pages A-56 thru A-73 /Portals/28/pdfs/Part-4.pdf

Part 5: Pages A-74 thru A-90 /Portals/28/pdfs/Part-5.pdf

Part 6: Pages A-91 thru B-15 /Portals/28/pdfs/Part-6.pdf

Part 7: HABS Drawings /Portals/28/pdfs/Part-7.pdf

Part 8: 1970 Colton Hall Repair Project Summary, 1992 Seismic drawings /Portals/28/pdfs/Part-8.pdf

Part 9: Resources Consulted /Portals/28/pdfs/Part-9.pdf


"Sense of Place – Monterey Peninsula" & “Unity through Diversity” at Alvarado Gallery

Exhibit Opening March 13, 2015, 5:30 - 7:00 pm

The City of Monterey, Colton Hall Museum and Cultural Arts Commission, and the Monterey Conference Center are pleased to announce the upcoming Alvarado Gallery exhibits: "Sense of Place – Monterey Peninsula" oil paintings by Carol Gray and “Unity through Diversity” mixed media by Janice Davis.

Please join us for an artists’ opening on Friday, March 13, 2015, from 5:30 to 7:00 PM with light refreshments and an opportunity to meet the artists.  The exhibit will be on display March 13 through April 12, 2015 in the Alvarado Gallery, located at the Monterey Conference Center, One Portola Plaza.

"Heading In" by Carol Gray