For over 60 years, The Monterey Museum of Art has served the community, preserving and presenting the legacy of California art through enriching exhibitions, public programs, and art education initiatives. During this time, we have operated from two locations – Pacific Street and La Mirada. These locations have served as “home” for the Museum since 1969 and 1983, respectively. While both locations hold great value and community sentiment, neither building is sustainable for the MMA’s collection storage, exhibiting and programmatic needs, or staff offices, nor would these buildings provide the public with a museum suited for the 21st century. The MMA has grappled with this reality for several decades.
In May 2021, the Monterey Museum of Art engaged internationally renowned museum consulting firm Lord Cultural Resources along with the esteemed civic-focused HMC Architects to generate the most comprehensive planning and programming feasibility study in the Museum’s history. Working with the MMA Board of Trustees and Staff over the past 12 months, Lord Cultural Resources facilitated multiple workshops and meetings to examine the opportunities and constraints of the museum’s current locations. The study included high-level site and facility assessments with review of the City’s zoning and planning overlays for La Mirada, Pacific Street, and the Perry Lane property purchased in 2020.
Informed by community stakeholder interviews and dialogue with the City of Monterey, MMA and Lord Cultural Resources developed a forward-looking organizational vision with a detailed facility program and concept design, from which the museum has projected future attendance, operating revenue, and expenses.
Key strategic findings of the year-long study include:
- MMA’s current home at Pacific Street is the preferred location for a more visible, vibrant, accessible, and sustainable home base. However, MMA seeks to re-envision the current site and build a new facility that will enhance and enliven the Island of Adobes district.
- La Mirada Home and Gardens is a highly valued community asset that should be sensitively renovated and sustainably managed as a limited-access programmatic unit of MMA.
- The property at Perry Lane is not the ideal location for new museum facilities; however, MMA will continue to consider future uses.
Over the next 12 months MMA will advance its work through a Strategic Planning Committee composed of MMA Board and Staff as well as community experts. The museum will engage with diverse civic and cultural organizations and with the community at large to further inform the development of this plan. Updates will be posted at this website periodically.