Garavaglia Architecture Summer News

Lorenz Hotel Re-Opening

Groundbreaking Ceremony at the Lorenz. Photo Credit: Mike Luke

Our firm was honored to attend the re-opening ceremony for the Lorenz Senior Apartments in Redding, California on February 19, 2015. The Beaux Arts–style structure — originally a hotel built by Susan Lorenz, widow of gold-mining magnate Henry Lorenz — is an important part of Redding’s history and has served the community for over 100 years.  We began work in 2010 on the 1902 historic unreinforced masonry hotel project to create upgraded, affordable senior-housing units.

GA  prepared a successful National Register nomination for the hotel, as well as the multi-part federal tax credit application. The rehabilitation transformed 78 dated residential senior-housing units without kitchens into 60 studio and one-bedroom units with full kitchens. This work included completing seismic upgrades and updating all mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems for the building. The project’s complex mix of requirements included following the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards, maintaining strict funding source requirements, completing a Probable Maximum Loss analysis and a Capital Needs Assessment, and maintaining senior-resident occupancy while phasing construction.

Lorenz Senior Apartments Exterior Facade. Photo Credit: Mike Luke

2015 Palo Alto Preservation Awards

Garavaglia Architecture received two awards for our historic preservation work from Palo Alto Stanford Heritage on the Rinconada Library and the Forbes House, both located in Palo Alto, California. Principal Michael Garavaglia attended the ceremony at the ballroom of the Lucie Stern Community Center on May 10, 2015.

The Rinconada Library, constructed in 1958, was designed by modernist architect Edward Durell Stone. The iconic building underwent a 4,000 sf expansion as well as a new program room for the library, group study rooms, and new public restrooms. We advised the design team on appropriate conservation and preservation treatments and completed a core historic report that guided the rehabilitation process. The report included treatment recommendations for the steel sash windows, molded plastic light lens that comprised the luminous ceiling — a major architectural feature — and masonry brise soleil repair.

The Forbes House at 564 University Avenue is a colonial style house that served as a single family residence and a rooming house. The historic property had been partially deconstructed with the removal of most exterior finishes, details, windows and hardware. Our work provided recommendations to restore the building to its former condition using original materials, which resulted in a Category 2 on the Palo Alto Historic Building inventory.

California Preservation Foundation Conference

Principal Michael Garavaglia and Project Manager Ambrose Wong visited the 2015 California Preservation Conference in San Diego on April 29 – May 2, 2015. Held in San Diego at the Naval Training Center at Liberty Station, the conference is a networking hub for historic preservation professionals in the Golden State. Conference highlights included pre-conference workshops focused on the California Historical Building Code, plaster casts, and disaster planning, as well as tours of local landmarks and special events.

Mr. Wong attended breakout sessions at the conference to become a certified  Safety Assessor volunteer with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. If needed, he may be called upon to evaluate buildings in the aftermath of a disaster. Congratulations Ambrose!

Credit: Garavaglia Architecture

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!

Watson School Re-Dedication and Open House

Garavaglia Architecture, Inc. was honored to have participated in the re-dedication and open house for the National Register-listed Watson School located in rural Sonoma County. The event, held on July 30, 2012, celebrated the completion of the multi-year restoration efforts aimed at re-opening the structure to the public.

The Watson School is a one-room schoolhouse located on Bodega Highway, near the Town of Bodega in Sonoma County, California. Built in 1856 on land donated by James Watson, the school served the communities of Bodega, Freestone, and Valley Ford. Watson School has the distinction of being the only one-room schoolhouse in public ownership within Sonoma County that remains on its original site. It is also believed to be the longest operating one-room school in California’s public school history, having served the local community for more than 111 years (1856-1967).

Garavaglia Architecture, Inc. got involved with the project in 2008 when we were retained by the Sonoma County Department of Parks to prepare a Historic Structures Report (HSR). This report was commissioned to address the immediate and long-term needs for the building in a prioritized manner to allow fundraising for discrete projects.

Through the generous actions of a private donor, the rehabilitation of the structure was made possible. Garavaglia Architecture, Inc. was further retained to work with the client-selected structural engineer on this rehabilitation project. Our HSR was used as a guide to determine the most effective use of the donated funds, address building deficiencies, and expand the scope to include accessibility compliance.

The re-dedication and open house celebrated the completion of these projects that helped to preserve this important structure that served the community for over a century. As a part of the ceremony, Garavaglia Architecture, Inc.’s Preservation Services Manager, Becky Urbano, was invited to speak about the history of the structure and its role in the history of the area and greater Sonoma County. While the interior of the building is not currently open to the public, we invite you to visit the park where you can view this structure and learn more about its history.