Monterey, California: Historic Cannery Row and John Steinbeck Walking Tour
Monterey Bay Aquarium / Sea Pride Packing Corporation
The cement building to your right is the beginning of the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. Stop here and I'll tell you about it.
This building was originally the location of the Sea Pride Packing Corporation, a company which was entirely owned and operated by Japanese-Americans. Some of its top products were abalone, filleted and kippered sardines as well as tuna and mackerel. In 1926 and 1930, the facility was severely damaged by fire.
Sea Pride was rebuilt after the fire and the grey corrugated warehouse diagonally to your right across the street was added for cannery storage and access to the Southern Pacific Railroad Monterey Branch tracks, which were behind the warehouse. The original warehouse survives to this day and is used as retail space. As of the date we made this recording, it is the home of Crepes on the Row.
Now continue walking while I finish Sea Pride’s story.
Sea Pride sold their operation to Atlantic Coast Fisheries in 1945 which continued to run until the 1950’s. In 1980, the abandoned cannery burned to the ground.
In 1996, this area would become the Open Sea wing of the Monterey Bay Aquarium which features the million-gallon Open Sea community exhibit that contains a school of Pacific sardines. The Aquarium was also the location of various episodes of Big Little Lies.