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Conservation and maintenance of the Spanish California missions has been an ongoing process since the original construction of such sites by the founding Franciscan missionaries. In San Juan Bautista, the Alta California Mission Research Program was launched with initial efforts directed toward the archaeology of the site in the fall of 1995 by project archaeologist and principal investigator, Dr. Rubén G. Mendoza, and the students of the California State University, Monterey Bay. In time, area university and community college student volunteers, parishioners and concerned community members, and minimum security trustees of the Gabilan Conservation Camp at the Soledad Prison state correctional facility have contributed thousands of hours toward the archaeology and historic preservation programs undertaken since 1995.

Conservation treatments

The formal establishment of the SJB Mission Conservation Program began with a major conservation grant provisioned to the California Missions Foundation on behalf of Old Mission San Juan Bautista by project patron Philip Hudner of the Botto Law Firm of San Francisco.  The California Missions Foundation continues to provide mini-grants for project-specific conservation needs.

Today, we continue to move forward in our efforts to see through the comprehensive rehabilitation of Old Mission San Juan Bautista. The importance of mission conservation is inherent in the protection and preservation of these significant historical landmarks for future generations. We see this as a sacred trust, and not one to be taken lightly, particularly given that the Old Mission constitutes a pivotal dimension of the California story, and our collective American histories. Mission conservation ensures our ongoing connection to the spirit of our earliest California historical experience. Such efforts to preserve the heritage of California are paramount to the San Juan Bautista Mission Conservation Program.

For more information chronicling the SJB Mission Conservation Program efforts:

• Past and present Projects
• Conservation Techniques
• Publications
• Get Involved