The Chew Kee Store has a new roof!

As part of our continued work with the Fiddletown Preservation Society, GA Inc. developed design and construction documents for the re-roofing of the Chew Kee Store, a historic Chinese owned and operated businesses in Fiddletown, California. The existing building is an early example of a rammed earth structure making the re-roofing a high priority to protect both the historic structure, the interior finishes, and the artifacts. One challenge was to get the historically appropriate wood barn shakes used rather than the initially budgeted composition shingles. Another challenge was to meet the Wildlands Urban Interface (WUI) requirements for a rated roof assembly without compromising the historic appearance of the roof and overhangs. The end result presents the roof pretty close to how it might have appeared when the doctor was “IN.”

The Chew Kee store was built in 1851 by Chinese immigrant herb doctor Yee Fung Cheung for his business and residence. It is now a house museum that displays artifacts from the store, as well as other 19th century Chinese artifacts. Many Chinese immigrants arrived in California during the Gold Rush era, and Fiddletown had the largest Chinese population outside of San Francisco at that time.

Our prior work in Fiddletown included the stabilization and rehabilitation of the Chinese run General Store, and Gambling Hall which both won multiple awards, including a 2009 California Preservation Foundation Award, a 2010 AIA San Francisco Chapter Design Award, and a 2010 Governor’s Historic Preservation Award.

Preston Castle Halloween Haunt!

Love haunted houses and want to support a great cause? Then make a trip to Ione and visit the Preston Castle Halloween Haunt!

Preston Castle (formerly the Preston School of Industry) has been featured on Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures and we would like to extend the invitation for you to come experience Northern California’s only “REAL” Haunted House! The Preston Castle will be having special tours the two weekends before Halloween, October 19th, 20th, 26th, and 27th.

This is a fun “scare” tour and not a historical tour of the entire Castle. It will be a new path through the Castle this year. A children’s fair with games and fun activities will be available until 9 pm for younger kids not going on the scare tour.

Gates open at 6:00 pm, first scare tour at 6:30 pm. Order tickets according to which night you want to attend. Tickets are limited for each night, so order early to make sure you can get in.

Proceeds of the event benefit the Preston Castle Foundation whose mission is to “preserve, rehabilitate, and utilize the historic Preston Castle site.” This organization has been working tirelessly to save this unique California resource. They have numerous fundraising events throughout the year and regularly give tours of this amazing building.

Garavaglia Architecture, Inc. has been working with the Foundation since 2006 on planning for the eventual reuse of the structure and compound. We encourage you to support this worthy organization and help save the Castle!

Grant Opportunities for Museums

Are you a museum managing historic collections? A museum in a historic building?

Garavaglia Architecture, Inc., wanted to let you know that there are opportunities available to non-profit organizations that you may not be aware of:

Conservation Assessment Program (CAP)
The Conservation Assessment Program (CAP) is a program administered by Heritage Preservation, the National Institute for Conservation and provides a general conservation assessment of your museum’s collection, environmental conditions, and site. Conservation priorities are identified by professionals and the report can help your museum develop strategies for improved collections care and provide a tool for long-range planning and fund-raising.

The 2013 application is now available!
CAP offers a maximum of two assessors per institution. Most museums are provided a conservator to assess the museum’s collections. If you have a historic structure (generally a building more than 50 years old), you may also qualify for a historic structure assessment. If your institution has living collections (zoos, aquariums, nature centers, botanical gardens, and arboreta), you can be provided a zoologist, botanist, or horticulturalist to assess your living collections.

The Conservation Assessment Program is supported through a cooperative agreement with the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Garavaglia Architecture, Inc. has CAP assessors on staff and would be happy to tell you more about this program.

Museum Assessment Program (MAP), American Association of Museums
Since 1981, the Museum Assessment Program (MAP) has helped museums maintain and improve operations through a confidential, consultative process. They provide guidance in meeting priorities and goals and understanding how your museum compares to standards and best practices.

Participating in MAP can help:

  • prioritize goals so you can allocate resources wisely,
  • document your needs so that you can make a stronger case to funders,
  • provide recommendations on ways to become an even stronger institution.

In less than a year, your museum can complete a self-study, have a site visit by a peer reviewer and begin implementing recommendations. For those applying for the December 1st deadline, you will receive additional benefits, including an online community, MAP bookshelf and access to the AAM Information Center and Museum Essentials webinar series.

Visit the American Association of Museums website to learn more about their program.

We encourage you to share this information with organization you think may benefit from these grants!