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There is much to be done in order to preserve Mission San Juan Capistrano. Net revenues are raised from Mission hosted corporate events and special events are directed toward preservation. Membership dues derived from the Preservation Society are directed toward much-needed repair and conservation. However, these programs are not enough to save the Mission. Donations and gifts from supporters are integral to realizing the dream of a more authentic, historically accurate, and a continued legacy for California’s “Jewel of the Missions” – Mission San Juan Capistrano. The list of things to work on is extensive and requires funding and support from a variety of sources.


Current Efforts

Front Courtyard Fountain

Before Conservation
After Conservation

Mission San Juan Capistrano announces the conservation of its early 1920s Front Courtyard fountain that was installed by Monsignor St. John O’Sullivan. The nearly 100-year-old fountain measures 22 feet in diameter and measures 7-foot-tall at its center. The basin holds over 200 gallons of fresh water and is complimented by lily pads and koi fish who also make this space their home. The fountain rehabilitation project involved cleaning and removing previous treatments. The fountain’s basin was replastered with a natural grey cement finish. This $5,000 preservation project was funded by private donations given during the pandemic.


Preservation in Action


Preservation Highlights


Commemorative Tile Program

In the 1990s, Mission San Juan Capistrano embarked on a fundraiser offering the sale and purchase of tiles for people to inscribe personal messages, celebrate an occasion or commemorate a person. The nature of those tiles was for the purpose of raising needed funds for the stabilization of the Great Stone Church ruins. Now, more than a decade since their sale, many are falling apart and are within the scope of the area affected by the larger Gate House Preservation Project. As such, the Mission leadership wants to continue to celebrate the support of these many special friends and supporters by providing recognition digitally of these special friends of Mission San Juan Capistrano.

Commemorative Tile Program

What Can a Save America’s Treasures Grant do for a Community?

Listen below to Mechelle Lawrence Adams, Executive Director, Mission San Juan Capistrano, explain how receiving a Save America’s Treasures (SAT) grant in 2000 not only helped preserve the ruins of the Mission’s Great Stone Church but also enlivened this historic landmark and the downtown community.

Adams shares that SAT “allowed us to bring people onto these grounds and to pay attention to the human spirit of the past as stewards today”.  The “work that we do isn’t just about saving structures but is actually about saving the identity and the plan and the meaning of a community and a place”.

For the Mission, the Save America’s Treasures grant was an investment that engaged the community in bringing about inspiration, education, preservation, and celebration.  And perhaps most importantly of all, the return of the swallows to Capistrano!


Mission San Juan Capistrano Commemorative Guide

Want to learn more about the history of Mission San Juan Capistrano and preservation efforts over the years? Mission San Juan Capistrano Official Commemorative Guide colorfully overviews the Mission’s 230 plus year history. With beautiful photos, drawings, artifacts, and paintings, readers will be engaged in the stories and people of the past, and the Mission’s bright future as a place of inspiration, education and celebration. Mission San Juan Capistrano Official Commemorative Guide is an ideal souvenir for student Mission reports and as a teachers resource.

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Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Closed early Christmas Eve and Good Friday.
Hours subject to change

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26801 Ortega Highway
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 234-1300

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