The Cypress Inn also enjoys a rich history. It begins in 1906 with artist Sydney Jones Yard.
Sydney Jones Yard was born in Rockford, Illinois in 1856. In the 1880’s he moved to California and opened a pair of photography studios in San Jose and Palo Alto. In 1898 he discovered the majestic oaks of Monterey County, and married Fannie M. Estabrook.
Late in 1906 Yard began work building a rustic home/studio for himself and his wife on the south side of Ocean Avenue between Dolores and Lincoln in what had come be known as the artist village of Carmel-by-the-Sea. On January 1, 1909, Yard suffered a heart attack and died in front of the Carmel Post Office.
The following year the Yard Studio was purchased by another artist, Mary DeNeale Morgan.
Ms. Morgan was born in San Francisco in 1868. She studied at the California School of Design under Virgil Williams, the same mentor of Christian Jorgenson.
After the 1906 earthquake Carmel received an influx of artists. Morgan among them. Shortly after she arrived in Carmel, she organized the Arts and Crafts Club. Their clubhouse occupied what is now the Golden Bough Playhouse and was the first cultural center in Carmel. Six week art classes taught by Ms. Morgan cost $15.
In 1910, Ms. Morgan had the Yard Studio moved from Ocean Avenue, down Lincoln to what would later become the courtyard addition to the Cypress Inn.
The wooden Yard Studio, the first artist studio built in Carmel, was the nucleus of the Morgan Studio. Ms. Morgan made additions to the Yard Studio in 1920, 1936, and 1937.
In 1927 she and her sister-in-law, artist Charlotte Bodwell Morgan were two of the founding members of the Carmel Art Association. This organization is the oldest continuously operating gallery in Carmel.
On October 10, 1948, while lunching at The Blue Bird Cafe in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Ms. Morgan suffered a heart attack and died.
The Morgan Studio remained in the possession of the Morgan family until around 1998 when it was purchased by Cypress Inn Investors. The Morgan Studio was demolished, making way for the courtyard suite addition to the Cypress Inn in 2001.
The memory of Mary DeNeale Morgan lives on even if her house does not. Just north of the Cypress Inn is a court named after the artist.
The original building of the Cypress Inn was built much earlier than 2001 and also has a history.
In 1927, Dr. Rudolph Kocher, had a building constructed for his medical practice on the northwest corner of Dolores and Seventh Avenue. The building was the first of three commercial structures designed by Blaine & Olsen in the Spanish Colonial Revival style that would line Seventh Avenue between San Carlos and Lincoln, giving the area the nickname “Spanish Hill.” This style can best be described as Spanish with Moorish features such as bright tile work, decorative grill work, and the signature tower. Today Dr. Kocher’s medical building is the home of La Bicyclette .
The second building by Blaine and Olsen was built in 1928 for Businessman L. C. Merrill. This building is now the home of Little Napoli.
The third building by Blaine and Olsen was built for Dr. Kocher in 1929 adjacent to his medical office. This building which was financed with the help of his partner in this project, Grace Deere Veile (of the John Deere Family). Grace Deere Veile would go on to found the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula (CHOMP) in 1934.
Dr. Kocher newest building was built on the former site of the Lincoln Inn managed by Mrs. John S. Ball. Dr. Kocher opened his new venture as The La Ribera Hotel in 1929 retaining Mrs. Bell as manager.
At its opening, the Monterey Peninsula Herald called the La Ribera “One of the show places of the peninsula,” offering its hotel guests high tea and wine tasting. Though it opened to great reviews , it did not survive the effects of the Depression and went into receivership in 1930.
The hotel was reopened and managed as the La Ribera by A. G. Wood, former manager of the luxurious San Carlos Hotel of Monterey. In the 1960’s Earl E. McInnis took over management of the hotel and renamed it Cypress West.
In the mid 1980’s businessmen Denny LeVett and actress Doris Day fully restored the hotel and reopened it as The Cypress Inn. It became Carmel’s original pet-friendly hotel. Notice the German Shepard enjoying the veranda of the King Suite in the courtyard wing above.
During the Inns Of Distinction Tour, guests were serenaded by the music of Kenny Stahl in the Doris Day Room.
The inn’s walls are decorated with Doris Day vintage movie posters, reminding us of a simpler time.
Nearby Christmas cookies hot from the oven of Terry’s kitchen tempt Inns of Distinction guests
as they decide which wine from Heller Estate Organic Vineyards to pair with their treat, the 2011 Merlot or the 2012 Chardonnay.
Over the past three years on the Inns of Distinction Tour, I have had the opportunity to tour a number of the Cypress Inn rooms in the newer courtyard wing (the area built where the Yard/Morgan studio once stood). This year it was a treat to tour rooms in the original part of the hotel. The following is a video of all the rooms I have toured at the Cypress over the years.
Landscape with Sheep by Sydney Yard – Sydney Yard Tonalist.
Black and white photo of Mary DeNeale Morgan – Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery
Point Lobos Cypress and the Deep Blue Sea – Mary DeNeale Morgan – Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery
Black and white photo of Morgan Building 1993 Historic Content Statement, Carmel Historic Survey – courtesy of Carmel City Hall Building Records.
Color photo of the Courtyard Suite Wing of Cypress Inn added 2001 – courtesy of Carmel City Hall Building Records.
Black and white photo of La Ribera Hotel c. 1929 – Carmel Historical Resources Binder Harrison Memorial History Library.
All other photography and video by L. A. Momboisse – www.carmelbytheseaca.blogspot.com
McGlynn, Betty Hoag. The Root of Carmel’s Art Galleries, (November 13, 1998). Harrison Memorial Library History Department.
Morseburg, Jeffrey. The Magic Hour Light of Sydney Yard.