PERRY-DOWNER HOUSE


This 1860 wood-frame house was built in the popular Queen Anne style by a whaling captain, Manuel Perry, and his wife, Mary de Mello Silva of Boston. It retains its original porch, the columns topped by delicate spandrel arches, bay and stained-glass windows, wainscotted interiors, and a spiral staircase.
The house built by the Perrys received a kitchen addition in 1906, and in 1910, house was raised and a new ground-floor level and foundation inserted beneath it: the original framing of two-by-fours was insufficient to sustain the weight of an additional floor.
The vacant, vandalized house was acquired and restored in 1966-68 by Webster and Maggie Downer. Two new two-story additions with five-sided bay windows were added to the north and south elevations. The derelict garage was remodeled into the Carriage House, and given a fine stained-glass ceiling.
In 1997, the Monterey History and Art Association acquired it to house its Historic Costume Collection, the only museum on the Central Coast devoted to apparel related to the history of the Monterey Peninsula and California. It was sold to a private owner in 2010.