Alta Mesa

CA_Monterey_AltaMesa_Plan_sig.jpg
Monterey, CA
United States
Alta Mesa

Placed on the site of the former Rancho Aguajito, this neighborhood was established by Vida, Louise, and Margaret Jacks who formed the L.M. & V. Jacks Corporation in 1909. The sisters subsequently hired Olmsted Brothers to develop a residential subdivision across some 545-acres of ranchlands. Beginning with an initial plan developed in 1924, Olmsted Brothers called for a sympathetic treatment of existing conditions, including integrating the entrance drive as the central thoroughfare. To prevent erosion, belts of shrubs and trees, such as coastal live oaks and fast-growing Monterey pines, were planted along roadways and steep slopes. Later donated to the city, heavily planted perimeter greenways (now Iris Canyon Greenbelt Park and Don Dahvee Park) secluded the development. Reduced in scope to 120-acres from the original 545-acre property, Olmsted Brothers’ plan was implemented in stages beginning in the 1920s, and, following a decades-long hiatus, was finished in the 1960s. The Monterey Peninsula College, The Del Monte Shopping Center, and an apartment complex as well as the two parks, were developed on the remaining acreage.

Following the mesa’s natural topography of ridges and slopes, winding roads connect tiers of sloping residential plots that back onto surrounding parkland and conservation areas. Located just south of downtown Monterey, the neighborhood contains several early-nineteenth-century adobe structures, with four identified by landscape architect Emerson Knight in his 1939 master plan for Monterey. A series of Colonial Revival homes were developed in the 1920s by real estate developer J.C. Anthony and artist Jo Mora. The La Mirada adobe, remodeled by Anthony with a garden design by landscape architect Florence Yoch, now serves as an event space for the Monterey Museum of Art. The development is framed to the east and south by the Del Monte Shopping Center and the Monterey Peninsula College, respectfully.