Watsonville Buddhist Temple named Historical Landmark

A photograph from 1917 shows the Watsonville Buddhist Temple during a celebration of its 10th anniversary and the Chigo Parade about to get under way on Union Street. — Courtesy Pajaro Valley Historical Association

The Watsonville Buddhist Temple is one of six organizations whose buildings have been awarded the 2019 Blue Plaque, denoting them as historical landmarks.

Honoring the structures and the people who make them special, Blue Plaques are awarded to structures in Santa Cruz County that are at least 50 years old and hold historic significance. Examples include old banks and iconic Victorian-era houses.

This year’s highlights include two early surf shops (Yount Surfboards and Johnny Rice Surfboards) and the Watsonville Buddhist Temple, said Ann B. Jenkins, South County Representative of the Museum of Art and History Blue Plaque committee.

“We’ll also be giving the Beach Flats Community Garden a certificate of appreciation for preserving history and culture,” officials with the committee said.

The Blue Plaque committee is part of the Museum of Art and History Historical Landmark committee. They meet during the year to identify, and nominate possible candidates for a Blue Plaque.

Budd Temp award web

The Watsonville Buddhist Temple is one of six organizations whose building was awarded the Historical Landmark Blue Plaque. — Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian

The 2019 Blue Plaque awardees are:

• The Patrick Neary Building, 1362 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz (re-plaque), 1906 | Edward Van Cleeck, Architect, Richardsonian Romanesque.

• The 1892 Triplett Sisters House, 240 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz (re-plaque). | Eastlake-Queen Anne

• The 1892 Dunfield House, 116 Taylor St., Santa Cruz, Italianate Style.

• Yount Surfboards, 2701 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, 1945 | Early surfboard shaper, Gale Yount’s shop, Quonset hut

• Johnny Rice Surfboards (Yount Surfboards), 1963 | Early surfboard shaper, 1963-1965.

• The Watsonville Buddhist Temple, 423 Bridge St. Original temple, established in 1906 and was on the corner of Union Street at Bridge Street (now Riverside Drive). It was eventually demolished; the existing temple was built in 1956.

• Grace Episcopal Church, 12547 CA-9, Boulder Creek (re-plaque), 1906 | Arthur Darwall, Builder and Lay Reader, Gothic Revival

The award ceremony will be held at the Museum of Art and History on Front Street in Santa Cruz on May 11 from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.  Open to the public, the event will give visitors a chance to hear from local historians and community members as they dive into research and personal stories related to the Blue Plaque recipients.

Awards are announced each month during National History Month. More than 150 plaques have thus been awarded.


Editor's Note: This article will publish in the April 26 edition of the Register-Pajaronian. 


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