Grace Harbor Women’s Center, Watsonville


The building is in downtown Watsonville.  An industrial building amongst residential, retail, and other industrial buildings. Watsonville is along California’s central coast and is a major agricultural center, home to the famous Martinelli’s Apple Juice and various Berry Farmers, Canneries and Frozen Food industries.


A Transition to Architect of Record of an existing project that consisted of a remodel of a commercial building to a Women’s Center that would include Emergency Shelter (42 beds), Dormitories (50 beds), Offices, Bathrooms, Warehouse Storage, Dining, Kitchen, Retail and a Café.

The 1920’s warehouse which previously was a Ford Showroom in the 30’s and then the Baker Brothers Furniture Store would now become mixed use and a residential building.  Once demolition started in 2019 and construction in 2020, we soon discovered that the 1989 Earthquake had left its mark and we would need to give the building a seismic upgrade. Safety and longevity of the building were important factors for the Client and Oversight Team. Steel reinforcements in the foundations and bracing on the walls have made this building strong and given it the industrial design element which we are very proud of.

It has been a delight to work with Teen Challenge Monterey Bay and the Oversight Team, one of the highlights during demolition and construction were the “work team: of men from Teen Challenge Monterey Bay Men’s Center (Pajaro Men’s Center). We saw them dig into the experience of being under a great man and General Contractor Ralph Kliewer, for almost 20 months they grew in knowledge and strength, work ethic and perseverance with all the challenges of remodeling a 20K Square Foot building that was 100 years old.  Over half of the team gained employment from the contractors and others stayed to become staff at Teen Challenge Monterey Bay.

This project has been one of the most rewarding for Mayfield Architects, with getting to know the men and women at Teen Challenge Monterey Bay personally and turning a crumbling building into a safe haven for women and women with children to rebuild their lives.

Date: March 15, 2022