Friends of the Joaquin Moraga Adobe

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             February, 2012

On February 25th 2012, FJMA Board members, Kent Long and Bobbie Landers visited the Adobe.  Unfortunately they found the Adobe in much worse shape than before.  There has been a lot more vandalism and graffiti.  All the historic plaques are now missing; before the state plaque was gone, but now the City of Orinda historic landmark plaque is missing as well. Click here to see recent Adobe photos.

              February, 2011

On February 8th 2011, the Orinda Planning Commission heard an informational presentation by the J & J Ranch developers (the Moraga Adobe owners) along with comments by FJMA members and representatives of other community groups . The Orinda Planning Department has been reviewing the initial application, but no staff recommendations have been published yet on the need for Environmental Impact Report etc.
              July, 2010
The Friends of the Joaquin Moraga Adobe participated in the July 4th activities in the cities of Orinda and Moraga. Information booths and brochures were provided to inform the community about our cause. Local citizens of both Orinda and Moraga were very receptive and interested in the Adobe.

Photo of FJMA members riding in Orinda's parade.
 FJMA members riding in a horse-drawn wagon in Orinda's Fourth of July parade.
March, 2010

Article in Lamorinda Weekly - March 30

The Friends of the Moraga Adobe was featured in an article by Sophie Braccini in the Lamorinda Weekly newspaper.  The article described the presentation by Kent Long at the Moraga Historical Society and Moraga Councilmen Dave Trotter's remarks.

Link to Lamorinda Weekly article


Presentation at Moraga Historical Society - March 25

FJMA President Kent Long gave a special presentation about the history and future of the Moraga Adobe at the Hacienda de las Flores in Moraga.  The well-attended event was sponsored by the Moraga Historical Society.

Kent's presentation gave an overview of the history of the Moraga family and the early days of the Adobe, the transitional ranching period, the restoration in the 1940's and the private owenership since that time. The talk featured many photos from the Moraga Historical Society's archives.

The current situation of the Adobe was also presented, both by current photographs and a lengthy discussion of the proposed development by the current owners of the property.  Kent described the FJMA's efforts to ensure preservation and community access for the historic building and also showed preliminary sketches by Orinda architects Bill Simpson and Peter Hasselman that illustrate some possible plans for restoring the Adobe bulding and providing faciilities for the public.

The evening was concluded by remarks by Dave Trotter, Moraga Council member and long-time Moraga historical advocate.  He spoke eloquently about the  unique opportunity to save this important site and urged all Moraga and Orinda residents to work actively to make their support known.



July, 2009

FJMA Tour of Alviso Adobe - July 18

The FJMA visited the Alviso Adobe in Pleasanton on Saturday, July 18th.  The tour host was Eric Nicholas, Naturalist for the City of Pleasanton.

The Alviso Adobe is in many ways similar to the Moraga Adobe, although it is slightly younger (built in 1854).  It has recently been restored and is now part of the Pleasanton park system.  The grand opening was held in October of 2008.  It is jointly operated with the Amador-Livermore Valley Historical Society and is used for a variety of historical and cultural activities, including an active interpretive program.
 

The visit was very insiprational for the FJMA members in showing how a similar historic site has been preserved and enhanced for the benefit of the community.


May, 2009

WJFF Radio Segment on Moraga Adobe - May 22

The Moraga Adobe was the subject of a segment of the Lost and Saved program on WJFF radio in Jeffersonville, NY.  The program is a weekly show that features historic preservation projects from around the country.  The host, Ron Bernthal, recently interviewed FJMA president Kent Long about the history and current status of the Adobe.

The program aired on Friday, May 22, 2009.  The will be available in their show archives for several more weeks.  It can be downloaded from the WJFF Audio Archives.  Select "Lost and Saved" in the Available Shows menu.


FJMA Featured in Preservation Magazine Online!

The FJMA and its efforts to save the Moraga Adobe have been featured in the May/June online edition of Preservation Magazine.  The magazine is produced by the National  Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington DC.

It is very exciting to have a national organization like this showing an interest in the Adobe and its future!

Link to article:  Group Hopes to Save Abandoned Adobe House
.


April, 2009

Adobe Tour - April 9

Moraga Adobe owner Michael Olsen generously led FJMA members on another tour of the Adobe and the surrounding grounds.  Michael described the current status of the project, including plans to submit a preliminary proposal to the City of Orinda within the next few weeks.

Moraga Adobe Tour - Apr 9, 2009
Michael Olsen speaks with FJMA members outside the Adobe.

Adobe tour - Apr 9, 2009
Tour attendees go up to the attic to see the tops of the original 1841 adobe walls.


FJMA Meeting - April 13

The Friends of the Joaquin Moraga Adobe held its third monthly meeting on April 13th. Several new members attended, including Lance Beeson, direct descendant of the Moraga family.

At the meeting, all members were asked to describe their vision and hopes for the Adobe.  
There was a wide range of ideas ideas presented, with a common theme of using the Adobe as a center for community education about local history.   Several members expressed concern regarding how much of the surrounding property could be preserved in order to maintain the character and atmosphere of the site.

The recently renovated Alviso Adobe in Pleasanton, Calif. was discussed as length.  The Alviso Adobe is similar to the Moraga Adobe and is now part of the City of Pleasanton park system and is jointly operated with the Alvarado-Livermore Valley Historical Society.

Full meeting minutes



March, 2009

Adobe Tour - March 21

FJMA members were given an hour-long tour of the Adobe building and grounds by new owner Michael Olsen.  Michael explained the structure and its history and answered questions about the plans he and his partners have for the site.  It was a fascinating visit and gave much better appreciation of the current state of the property and its potential for the future.


FJMA Members tour the adobe 3/21/2009
FJMA members speak with Michael Olsen in the living room of the Moraga Adobe, one of the original rooms with thick adobe walls.

FJMA Meeting - March 9

The Friends of the Joaquin Moraga Adobe held its second meeting on March 9th. Several new members attended, including several representatives of the Moraga Historical Society. At the meeting, the membership elected an initial Board of Directors and Bylaws Committee to lead the organization.

The new Board of Directors is:
  • President/Chair - Kent Long    ( kentlong@moragaadobe.org )
  • Vice-President & Publicity Chair – Jeff Boero
  • Treasurer – Karen Beck
  • Secretary – Connie Boero
  • Publicity Assistant – Vera Kochan
  • Research – Elsie Mastick
  • At large – SB Master
  • At large – Ron Louis
Bylaws Committee:
  • Bobbie Landers, Flo Weber, Leasa Raya
Full meeting minutes

February, 2009
FJMA Meeting - February 6

The Friends of the Joaquin Moraga Adobe held its first exploratory meeting on February 6th at the home of Bobbie Landers.  Attendees included the mayors of Orinda (Sue Severson) and Moraga (Dave Trotter).


Bobbie Landers speaking at first FofJMA meeting

              Bobbie Landers speaks at the first meeting of the Friends of the Joaquin Moraga Adobe.

Full meeting minutes

On February 18th, the Lamorinda Weekly published a front-page feature article by Andrea Firth on the Moraga Adobe.

Link to full article:  
The Joaquin Moraga Adobe: A Local Historic Treasure
 
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