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Downie, Harry (Henry John), 1903-1980



  • Existence: 1903 - 1980

Henry John Downie (1903-1980), a third generation San Franciscan, was a cabinetmaker with a special reputation for the restoration of Spanish antiques. In 1931 he was recruited by Monsignor Philip Scherer, pastor of the Catholic Church in Monterey, to restore some statues at the Carmel Mission but his job quickly expanded to mission restorer. In addition to the exterior and interior restoration of Mission Carmel, Downie was consulted on and helped restore many of the missions that are today considered the most authentic including San Luis Obispo, San Juan Bautista and San Buenaventura. He also assisted the Native Daughters of the Golden West in the rebuilding of Mission Soledad. Downie was known for his meticulous research and his use of original Spanish sources to help guide him in his restoration work.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Harry Downie Scrapbook

Identifier: MS-28
Scope and Contents This scrapbook contains news clippings and copies of newspaper articles, typed and handwritten notes, brochures, articles, and photographs about the history of the Santa Barbara Presidio and the reconstruction of the Presidio in the 1970s.