The Cowell Lime Works District encompasses some 30 acres at the main entrance to the University of California Santa Cruz at the intersection of High and Bay Streets. The district includes four lime kilns, the cookhouse, cooperage, hay barn, Cardiff House, worker cabins and many other building and structures from the 19th century. Lime is made by heating limerock (limestone or marble) in kilns. Most of the lime made here was used in building construction. It was mixed with sand and water to make mortar and plaster. In the 1800s masonry construction, such as foundations, fireplaces, chimneys, walls and brick and stone buildings, relied on lime mortar. Lime was essential to the development of the Golden State during the second half of the nineteenth century.
The district preserves one of the oldest and most important lime manufacturing plants in California and an entire complex of buildings and other structures in their original location and context. They tell the story of the people who made the lime, how they lived, the technology used to make the lime, how it was packaged and shipped, and the role of the surrounding ranch. Not only are the stone kilns preserved, but the entire complex of buildings including residences of the owner and workers are intact. It is the most complete 19th century lime manufacturing complex in the state.
For more information, please visit http://limeworks.ucsc.edu/index.shtml