Carmel Mission Foundation
Carmel Mission Foundation




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.





The Foundation announced on August 7, 2014 that it had been awarded a $500,000 challenge grant from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. From this date forward, all new donations will be matched dollar for dollar, until reaching the total match of $500,000. This challenge grant will help the Foundation accelerate its efforts to fund the next phase of the preservation of the Carmel Mission complex. The Foundation is deeply grateful to this most generous donor.



The Foundation has just announced that new plans for the remaining preservation work on the Mission’s historic structures are nearing completion. Following the $5.5 million Basilica restoration last year, the Foundation began a comprehensive new study of the remaining historic structures in the Carmel Mission complex. Included are five museums, California’s First Library, and the Orchard House, California’s oldest continuously occupied residence, built c. 1774. This next phase will encompass seismic retrofits and infrastructure upgrades on historic structures, courtyard restorations, visitor traffic flow, accessibility improvements, and enhancements to the museum experience.

The same preservation team, including the general contractor, Blach Construction, that did such an outstanding job on the Basilica restoration, has now been re-assembled for this next phase. Currently, the project is being analyzed to determine optimum preservation work sequencing, while minimizing Mission disruptions. The project will be about twice the size and complexity of the Basilica restoration. Additional discovery and pre-construction work now needs to be completed, including design drawings and permitting. Once the permits have been obtained and depending on funding, construction work may begin within one year.

Photo courtesy of K.C. Jones


Courtesy of Architectural Resources Group and Franks Brenkwitz & Associates


Preservation Team meets with Docents and parishioner



Crown Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Spain visited the Carmel Mission on Wednesday, November 13, in honor of Junipero Serra’s 300th birthday later this 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. For more information see the KSBW TV news video.