The beautiful Romanesque Revival building was built of local sandstone, granite from Folsom, and bricks from Folsom and San Quentin prisons. The cornerstone was laid on December 23, 1890 with 2,500 people in attendance.
On June 13, 1894 the Preston School of Industry accepted its first wards. A few weeks later the school was proclaimed officially open on July 1, 1894. By seeking to rehabilitate youthful offenders, the school offered a progressive alternative to San Quentin.
Preston Castle has slowly deteriorated due to weather, vandalism, old age, and lack of on-going maintenance. The Preston Castle Foundation now has a fifty-year lease on the property, and is spearheading renovations.
Upon full restoration, the foundation's goal is for the castle to be a self-sustaining community resource. Some ideas for its use might include: conference and event space, library, art gallery, restaurant, visitor's center, and specialized youth, adult, and senior services. There is a web site at: www.prestoncastle.com