17th Annual Carmel Heritage Society Inns of Distinction – 2015 – Part 4 Monte Verde Inn and Cypress Inn
Monte Verde Inn West Side of Monte Verde Between Ocean and Seventh
Attributes: Pet Friendly, Breakfast, On Site Parking
From the Pine Inn our inns tour heads one block south on Monte Verde to the Monte Verde Inn.
Before I give my best explanation of the history of the Monte Verde Inn I see Cima Collina is pouring
and Terry’s Restaurant (Cypress Inn) is providing a perfect pairing to my Cima Collina 2012 Chardonnay tasting, a silver platter of precisely portioned cheese bites.
Okay now I am ready. Here is the background. Let’s start with the Sanborn maps shown below from 1924, 1930, 1930 – 1964 of lot 1-4 Block A. I placed them on top of each other so that the changes can be easily seen.
As can be noted from the 1924 Sanborn map there was a structure built at the southwest corner of Ocean and Monte Verde labeled the Monte Verde Apartments. According to A Tribute to Yesterday (p. 96), it was a “wooden home-style structure known as Hotel El Monte Verde,” run by owner Mary L. Hamlin. In 1925 the property was sold to Ethel P. Young and managed by Mrs. Young’s daughter, Virginia Stanton. Mrs. Stanton was married to Monterey peninsula builder and architect, Robert Stanton.Mrs. Stanton was also the first president of Carmel Heritage Society in 1984. But I digress.
Now here is where it gets a little tricky and frankly a bit inconclusive. In 1925 Mr. Stanton built his office (or reconstructed part of the apartments into an office) on lot 2. Before 1930, some of the Monte Verde Apartment building was moved south of his office to lot 3 – leaving most of lot 1 empty. This can be seen in the 1930 Sanborn map above. In 1936, Stanton built the Tudor Revival style Normandy Inn on lot 1 (see Sanborn map 1936 -62 above).
Around 1929, lot 3 (possibly along with the Monte Verde Apartment building) was sold to Percy Parkes, another Monterey peninsula builder architect. According to City Hall records Parkes took out three building permits in 1929 for additions to the property on lot 3 including the addition of stucco. The first time that the name Monte Verde Inn is mentioned in the City Directory is in 1958. So there you have it – not completely conclusive, but the best I could find to date on the history of Monte Verde Inn.
Today, the Monte Verde Inn is a charming Mediterranean style bed and breakfast. All rooms have been recently remodeled with white-washed adobe walls. Our tour featured the Queen Fireplace Room 1
on the ground floor next to the lobby.
A small room, with queen bed, desk, and fireplace – the vaulted ceiling makes it appear roomy.
Next, up a narrow flight of stars to
Ocean View Queen Deluxe Room 7.
Finally Double Queen Suite Room 6
which is the largest with two queen beds,
a separate sitting room with day bed
and a clawfoot bathtub.
A short walk one block east to Lincoln and I arrive at the 86 year old
Cypress Inn SE Corner Lincoln and Seventh Attibutes: Complimentary Breakfast, Ocean View Rooms, Restaurant and bar on site,
The Cypress Inn has a rich history. It begins in 1906 with artist Sydney Jones Yard. Mr. Yard was born in Rockford, Illinois in 1856.He moved to California in the 1880’s and opened a pair of photography studios, one in San Jose and one in Palo Alto.In 1898 he discovered the majestic oaks of Monterey County, and married Fannie M. Estabrook.
In late 1906 Mr. yard began building a rustic home/studio for himself and his wife on the south side of Ocean Avenue between Dolores and Lincoln. They did not live there long – Mr. Yard died of a heart attack in front of the Carmel Post Office January 1, 1909.
The following year the Yard Studio was purchased by artist Mary DeNeale Morgan. She moved it from Ocean Avenue to Lincoln just north of Seventh. This would become the future site of the Cypress Inn courtyard addition 92 years later.
The wooden Yard Studio, considered the first artist studio built in Carmel, was the nucleus of the Morgan art studio. Ms. Morgan made additions to the original 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, considered the oldest continuously operating gallery in Carmel.
On October 10, 1948, Ms. Morgan suffered the same fate as Mr. Yard. While lunching at The Blue Bird Café in Carmel-by-the-Sea, she 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 studio was then demolished, making way for the courtyard suite addition to the Cypress Inn in 2001.
The main building of the Cypress Inn also has history. In 1927, Dr. Rudolph Kocher had a building constructed for his medical practice on the northwest corner of Dolores and Seventh Avenue. (currently La Bicyclette shown below)
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 you will find this caduceus on the outside wall of La Bicyclette, a reminder of Dr. Kocher’s medical office.
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 across from La Bicyclette (shown in the picture above) on the northeast corner of Dolores and Seventh.
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). Ms. Veile would go on to found the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula (CHOMP) in 1934.
Dr. Kocher’s 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 on July 3, 1929 retaining Mrs. Bell as the 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 Depression and went into receivership in 1930.
La Ribera did reopen, managed by A. G. Wood, former manager of the San Carlos Hotel in Monterey.
In the 1960’s Earl E. McInnis took over management of the hotel and renamed it Cypress West.
In the mid 1980’s businessman Denny LeVett and actress Doris Day fully restored the hotel
reopening it as Cypress Inn, Carmel’s original pet-friendly hotel.
Inside, the walls are lined with vintage Doris day posters.
Black and white photo of Morgan Building from 1993 Historic Content Statement, Carmel Historic Survey – Carmel City Hall Building Records.
Black and white photo of La Ribera Hotel c. 1929 – Carmel Historical Resources Binder Harrison Memorial History Library. Black and white photo of post card of La Ribera Hotel c. 1940 – Nixon files Harrison Memorial History Library. Black and white photo of Cypress Inn c. 1980’s – Harrison Memorial History Library.