Carmel Mission Foundation
Carmel Mission Foundation




The Carmel Mission Foundation announced on August 10, 2016 that the renovation of the Carmel Mission’s Quadrangle Courtyard had been completed. This was made possible by a $2.0 million grant from the Carmel Mission Foundation.

The large Quadrangle Courtyard is the venue for many important parish and community events. The old concrete surface, cracked and with many trip hazards, was removed and new subterranean utility infrastructure was installed to support future Mission restoration work. The Courtyard was then resurfaced with a stronger, safer, and similar looking hardscape designed to last for the next 75–100 years.

The Quadrangle renovation marks the beginning of Phase II of the Mission’s restoration, which is a comprehensive, multiyear project to seismically strengthen and restore the Mission’s 11 remaining historic structures and courtyards, including five museums, California’s first library, and the Orchard House, California’s oldest adobe residence. The comprehensive planning for this Phase, funded by the Foundation, has been underway for the past two years.




The Carmel Mission Foundation announced on October 13, 2015 that the $5.5 million seismic stabilization and restoration of the 220-year-old Carmel Mission’s Basilica has received the prestigious Governor’s Historic Preservation Award for 2015. This award was the second major award that the Basilica restoration has garnered. The Basilica restoration project was recognized as an exceptional example of historic preservation efforts on behalf of California’s cultural heritage.

The Governor’s Historic Preservation awards have been presented annually since 1986 under the sponsorship of the State Office of Historic Preservation and California State Parks to projects, individuals, and organizations whose contributions demonstrate significant achievements in preserving the heritage of California. The history of California is embodied in buildings, structures, sites, and objects that provide tangible links to the people and events that shaped California’s growth and development.

Basilica Restoration Wins Second Award


Pope Francis canonized Fr. Junípero Serra on September 23, 2015. The canonization ceremony took place in Washington D.C. at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception during the Pope’s visit to the U.S.

Fr. Serra was the founder of the first nine of 21 missions in California, including the Carmel Mission in 1771, which was his headquarters. He was also buried there in 1784.

Making Junípero Serra a saint will draw many more visitors from around the world to the Carmel Mission and the Monterey Peninsula. The Mission is already a major religious and tourist attraction, including a State and National Historic Landmark.


The Carmel Mission Foundation announced on December 9, 2014 that the recent $5.5 million restoration of the Carmel Mission Basilica has received a Project-of-the-Year Award from the construction industry for the Northern California and Hawaii Region in the religious/cultural category. Vic Grabrian, President & CEO of the Carmel Mission Foundation said, “We were pleased to receive this award, as it is a wonderful way to honor the donors who supported the project and demonstrates the care and quality of the restoration work completed by the Preservation Team.” The Basilica restoration project was completed safely, ahead of schedule, and $1.5 million below budget.

Over 140 projects were submitted for this annual competition, conducted by the construction industry’s Engineering News Record (ENR) magazine through an independent panel of industry judges. Judging criteria included collaboration and teamwork, ability to overcome challenges, safety performance, and use of innovative design and construction solutions. The judge’s panel also considered the contribution to the construction industry and community, design quality, and construction craftsmanship.

The Carmel Mission Preservation Team was recently honored at an industry awards ceremony in San Francisco. The Team includes Franks Brenkwitz and Associates, architect of record; Blach Construction, general contractor; Architectural Resources Group, preservation architect; Donald C. Urfer & Associates, structural engineer; on site management; and the Carmel Mission Foundation that funded the project.





Crown Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Spain, later to become King and Queen, visited the Carmel Mission on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 in honor of Junipero Serra’s 300th birthday later that month. Vic Grabrian, President of the Carmel Mission Foundation, briefed the royal couple on the history of the Carmel Mission and the recently completed seismic retrofit and restoration of the Basilica. They then placed a wreath on the tomb of Junípero Serra and, after touring the Convento Museum, joined about 90 guests for a private reception in the Mission’s main courtyard. Accompanying the Prince was the Spanish Ambassador to the United States and the President of the Balearic Islands.