2019 Governor’s Preservation Award

Photo by the Independent News

The Livermore Train Depot has been awarded a 2019 Governor’s Historic Preservation Award; this prestigious award recognizes exemplary achievements in historic preservation and the preservation of California’s heritage.

GA, Inc. evaluated the Depot, originally built in 1892, for listing on the National and California Registers and worked with the City of Livermore to complete several technical studies for the Depot including a Historic Resource Evaluation (HRE) and Initial Study, a core Historic Structure Report (cHSR), a feasibility analysis of moving the structure to a different location, and a rehabilitation plan.

Our recommended rehabilitation plan included removal of non-historic additions, reconstruction of non-extant exterior and interior features from historic documentation; and development of recommendations for specific treatments and methods based on the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and the California Historical Building Code. We are honored to have played a part in the Train Depot’s preservation.

Michael Garavaglia, President, will be attending the award ceremony on January 22, 2020.


Bodie-Benton Railroad Building – Restoration Efforts Underway

As part of our ongoing work with California State Parks, Garavaglia Architecture prepared a Historic Structure Report to guide the stabilization of the Bodie-Benton Railroad Office Building, and develop a plan for its use as a limited-use interpretive center.

Bodie State Historic Park is famed as a gold-mining ghost town that once had a population of nearly 10,000. Only a small part of the town survives, preserved in a state of “arrested decay,” as mandated in the park’s General Plan. The project included a stakeholder visioning session that brought to light competing goals. GA worked with the various parties to arrive at a consensus for the building’s future use, while remaining sensitive to the requirements that each party was trying to meet.

The HSR responded to the known history of the building, its existing conditions, and the stakeholders’ requirements to balance the building’s immediate needs with DPR’s long-term goals. Included in GA’s analysis was a finishes study to clarify construction chronology with relative dating of paint and wallpaper samples, and an ADA access study for short- and long-term building use goals. Findings were presented as a prioritized and phased plan with recommendations for implementation and future study.

Volunteer work crews from the non-profit HistoriCorps began work this summer to restore the walls, foundation, siding and patio and seismically strengthen the building.

Lathrop House Relocation Underway!

Beginning on May 8, the historic 1860’s era Lathrop House in Redwood City, CA will be moved down the street to make room for a new County Office building.  Garavaglia Architecture, Inc., led the A/E team, and was instrumental in the plan to save and protect the Lathrop House from potential demolition, and to maintain it’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The building, being relocated intact and placed with the same orientation at the receiver site, similar to its current setting, where it received its NRHP listing. Our work included architectural drawings for the building’s rehabilitation and a site design. The relocated historic house will continue to be used as a house museum and will be integrated into the overall visitor experience at the San Mateo County County History Museum.

Because of the proposed juxtaposition of the historic Lathrop House adjacent to the historic San Mateo County Courthouse, GA, Inc. conducted an evaluation of the potential impact under CEQA Criteria Consideration B (moved properties) Evaluation, along with discussions with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), to confirm that there would not be any negative impact to the building’s NRHP listing. The proposed relocation and siting was deemed acceptable by SHPO and NPS. 

“GA, Inc’s planning and technical involvement supported the relocation of the Lathrop house while protecting its historic significance and its continued presence in an urban area that has changed greatly from its original setting.” –Mike Garavaglia, Principal

Viewing of the house move will be available for the general public and the media, from May 8 to May 12 and will be captured with time lapse photography.  More information about the project is available on the County of San Mateo’s website: