California Historic Preservation Awards
The renovation of the historic downtown market includes a new fresh-food market hall, restaurants, street-oriented retail, co-housing condominium units and common house, affordable rental units, live/work space, commercial office space, and on-site parking.
The market's facade is a unique example of glazed brick and terra cotta commercial architecture. The open interiors are lit by 200-foot (60-meter) long north-facing clerestories supported by long-span steel trusses. The design retains 75 percent of the existing structure.
The Museum of Children's Art occupies a second-floor space overlooking Swans Court. A new courtyard on 9th Street retains the glazed brick facade and steel trusses from a warehouse that had occupied the site. The courtyard provides an interactive focal point for the public market, museum, and residences.
Portions of the roof are peeled away above the existing trusses to bring sunlight into the interior of the block and to create public and private outdoor spaces that link the diverse uses of this vibrant, unique urban community.
Restoring a Damaged Bridge
A restoration award went to the City of Los Angeles for its work on the North Broadway Viaduct/Bridge over the Los Angeles River. The reconstruction involved retrofitting the structure to withstand a major seismic event and restoring it to its 1912 appearance, replacing the decorative Beaux Arts elements that had been missing since the mid-1930s.
The reconstruction included open-style, concrete baluster handrails and massive 37-foot (11-meter) high ornamental pylons, with round balconies, classical columns, and a semicircular colonnade set on piers along the north and south sides.
The North Broadway Bridge was one of the first long-span, open-spandrel viaducts in California and the first of its type to use monumental Beaux Arts architectural details, the work of distinguished Los Angeles architect Alfred F. Rosenheim.
The original bridge provided citizens a deck promenade, a streetcar line, and an automobile crossing elevated above the river's flood tide and the tracks of the Southern Pacific Railway. It was often referred to as a "gateway" to the city.
The pylons were reconstructed according to historic as-built drawings but in glass fiber reinforced concrete, (GFRC) a new material resembling concrete but with greater tensile strength. The decorative elements were made from liquid GFRC poured into rubber molds, then assembled with matching mortar. GFRC was also used to replicate the running handrails, columns of the balconies, and pylon entablatures.
Crafting Wood Conservation Methods
One of the awards for craftsmanship/preservation technology went to the Sunol Water Temple, designed in 1910 by architect Willis Polk. The 60-foot (18-meter) high classical pavilion was sited to mark the confluence of three water sources that flow into the Sunol Valley.
Owned by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission since 1930, the structure is made up of twelve circular concrete columns and a concrete ring girder that supports the conical wood and tile roof. The structure's design was inspired by the Temple of Vesta outside Rome, built to honor the source of ancient Rome's water supply.
The water temple was unstable as a result of years of neglect and the Loma Prieta Earthquake. It was rescued in a project that took three years to complete and used methods of wood restoration developed in England for restoring medieval heavy timber buildings.
The restoration project involved repairing the roof, columns, and finishes; conservation of the art murals; and improving accessibility. The goal was to strengthen all elements while restoring them to their original appearance.
A unique system was created by the architect and wood conservator embedding a U-shaped steel channel in the beams with epoxy. The finished product appears to be wood. Eight of the twelve columns were strengthened with steel cores for seismic stability, and their cracks were filled with epoxy.
Carey & Co., the San Francisco-based historic preservation architecture firm that served as preservation consultants on the project shares the award with: the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission; SOHA Engineers; LTM Construction Company, Inc.; Anne Rosenthal, art conservator; wood specialists from the University of California Forest Products, Service to Industry Program; the Oakland Museum Conservation Laboratory; Molly Lambert, architectural conservator; Allied Wood Products and Oakland Pattern Works; and Biocare.
Save the Sunol, a local neighborhood organization was instrumental in saving the structure from demolition.
The Awards Program
Winners were also announced in three other categories: additions to historic structures and contextual in-fill projects; cultural resource studies, reports and computer software; and archaeological and cultural landscape projects.
The awards jury included: Richard Conrad, FAIA, Division of the State Architect; Courtney Damkroger, Historic Preservation Officer, City of San Jose; Cindy Heitzman, Fire Marshall and Building Official, City of St. Helena, Chairman, Napa County Landmarks; Gordon Olschlager, AIA, Ehrenkratz, Eckstut and Kuhn Architects; and, Gloria Scott, Architectural Historian, CALTRANS.
The California Preservation Foundation, headquartered in Oakland, is a private, nonprofit organization working to ensure that California's diverse historic resources are identified, protected, and celebrated for their history and their valuable role in California's economy, environment, and quality of life.