Abbott House


abbott-house


For detailed information regarding the Abbott House, 

visit the website of the Monterey County Historical Society.


In March of 1873, Carlisle Abbott purchased the American Hotel, on the site of Deacon Howe's Half-Way House, and began work on a three story brick hotel 126 feet wide and 60 feet deep. The American Hotel was moved to the rear, and served as an annex to the new hotel, which was named the Abbott House. Also early in 1873 Jesse D. Carr led in the organization of the Salinas City Bank, the first in the county. It was situated immediately adjacent to the Abbott House. The bank and hotel even had asphalt sidewalks installed! Carr was a power in the State Democratic organization, and was frequently mentioned as a candidate for senate or governor.


  

In 1917, Carlisle S. Abbott sold "Abbott House" hotel, by then incorporating the adjacent Salinas City Bank, was sold to George and Mike Cominos. They renovated and enlarged the building, and by 1921 the "Cominos Hotel" was again the premier hotel on the central coast. It boasted the first elevator in the area. Virtually every dignitary who visited Salinas stayed there--Salinas was an important town, and dignitaries including presidents Taft, Hoover and Coolidge stayed at the hotel, as did every governor of California from Alvarado to Pat Brown. Senators and state legislators were frequent visitors, as were other famous people, such as Joe Stillwell. Supreme Court Justice Stephen J. Field is reported to have been a frequent visitor.

The cast-stone and stucco facade, designed by Ralph Wyckoff, dominated Main Street's 100 block from about 1920. Wyckoff also was the architect for the Cominos Hotel's interior remodeling.

The Abbott House and later the Cominos Hotel served as the focal point of the town's social life and entertainment. Wedding receptions, ballroom dances, town meetings, businessmen's lunches and formal dinners were all held there, and many of the town's children grew up playing in the halls and the elevator, the first in the entire area. The hotel was the focal point for the town's night life. As such, it appears in the writings of John Steinbeck. 





   © KSOCA 2012