Larkin House

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Larkin House
Larkin House.jpg
Larkin House
Larkin House is located in Monterey Peninsula
Larkin House
Location in the Monterey Peninsula
Location510 Calle Principal, Monterey, California
Coordinates36°35′53″N 121°53′42″W / 36.59806°N 121.89500°W / 36.59806; -121.89500Coordinates: 36°35′53″N 121°53′42″W / 36.59806°N 121.89500°W / 36.59806; -121.89500
ArchitectThomas O. Larkin
Architectural styleMonterey ColonialSpanish Colonial
Part ofMonterey Old Town Historic District (#70000137)
NRHP reference #66000215
CHISL #106
Significant dates
Added to NRHPOctober 15, 1966[2]
Designated NHLDecember 19, 1960[3]
Designated NHLDCPApril 15, 1970
Designated CHISL1933[1]

The Larkin House is a historic house at 464 Calle Principal in Monterey, California. Built in 1835 by Thomas O. Larkin, it is claimed to be the first two-story house in all of California, with a design combining Spanish Colonial building methods with New England architectural features to create the popular Monterey Colonial style of architecture. The Larkin House is both a National and a California Historical Landmark, and is a featured property of Monterey State Historic Park.[1][2]


The Larkin House is located in the historic center of Monterey, at the southwest corner of Calle Principal and Jefferson Street. It is a two-story wood frame structure, with walls of adobe and a low-pitch hip roof. Three of its four sides are covered by a two-story wood-frame flat-roof veranda. The post-and-beam framing is exposed in the interior, where there is also a fireplace and chimney.[4]


In 1832 Thomas O. Larkin, a native of Massachusetts, joined his half-brother John B. R. Cooper in business in California. Larkin became the most influential American in Monterey, then the capital of Alta California. He served as the only United States consul to Mexico in Monterey. Larkin sought to build a house more typical of his native New England, but local sawmills were unable to supply him with sufficient redwood for the purpose. Larkin compromised by building a typical New England frame, but then finished its walls in whitewashed adobe. The framing made it possible to significantly enlarge the window openings over traditional Spanish Colonial architecture, and the style of this house rapidly spread across California. The house is believed to be the first two-story house in California, and the first to have a chimney.[4]

The Larkin House was designated as a California Historical Landmark in 1933.[1] It then became a National Historic Landmark in 1960 and is part of the larger Monterey State Historic Park, which is itself designated a National Historic Landmark District.[3][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Larkin House". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-10.
  2. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  3. ^ a b "Larkin House". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-07-14.
  4. ^ a b c James Dillon (September 22, 1976) National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Larkin House, National Park Service and Accompanying four photos from 1958, 1968, and 1975

External links[edit]