The Art of Historic Preservation

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Merging the Past, Present and Future in Silicon Valley

(St. James Street, between First and Second streets, Downtown San Jose)

1st Church Christ Scientist
"The First Church of Christ Scientist was designed by Willis Polk and built in 1905. The plan of the building is a Greek cross. Four Ionic columns dominate the entry portico. Since the construction of a new church in 1946, the building has been used for a variety of purposes. Its scale and dignity make it an important contributor to the city’s architectural heritage. High-rise housing is now planned around the vacant building."...from the Downtown History Walk webpage.

This beautiful building has been part of the downtown San Jose landscape for 110 years.
The Church's  Majestic Profile
Since 1946, the 1st Church of Christ Scientist building has been used as a theater, a child care center and a rehearsal hall for the Children's Musical Theater. 
In the late 1960's and early 1970's, it was known as the "Garden of Allah Theater" and showed underground and independent films.

Though the building is currently in major disrepair, it's
Rendering of Church From
the Fountain at St. James park
historic designation ensures it will be not be torn down. Barry Swenson Builders has plans to make the historic church the centerpiece of a beautifully designed luxury condominium complex. Part of the new plan calls for the building to be moved to another location on the current lot.

We are currently negotiating with the contractor to digitally document the building before the construction process begins for historic purposes. Digitally documenting the building prior to construction will preserve the building in it's original location for History San Jose's archives.

There are also several benefits to the larger project, should the construction professionals choose to utilize the data we collect. For example, documenting the building and property prior to construction will give the contractor(s) a precise "as-exist" point cloud of the area that can be imported to AutoCad, Revit, Point Tools or other appropriate software packages.
Rendering of Park View Towers Complex w/
the Christian Scientist Church as the Centerpiece

With a point cloud, the relocation of the building can be done to millimeter accuracy, virtually and 

prior to the actual physical move; saving time and money for the contractor. To take this a step further, the entire construction project, including the high-rise condominiums can be designed by and built virtually.  
Once the data is collected, there literally dozens of things that it could be used for, both in the immediate and long term future for the complex. Everything from green building design and planning to facility maintenance and operations.

Park View Towers Consist of Two Buildings
of a 12 Story and 18 Story 

Once again, our tool of choice for this unique project is the FARO 3D Focus Laser Scanner. For this  particular project, we plan to use the FARO 330 Long Range Scanner. It's extended range is ideal for capturing the the building and surrounding property, providing us with the essential data required by the architects, general contractor, surveyors and most importantly for us, the preservationist. 
FARO 3D Focus
Laser Scanner

We've enjoyed tremendous success with FARO products...Lightweight, sturdy, easy to operate with superior quality; FARO Technologies

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Local Preservation Efforts Continue

The Reality Capture Technology Training Center at History Park.

This fly-through video of the Historic Zanker House at History Park in San Jose developed and completed by Minh Chau Doan, an 11th grade student at San Jose's Notre Dame High School.
 The point cloud contains more than 400,000,000 data points and was developed using a FARO Technologies 3D Focus Laser scanner.
FARO 3D Focus

Built in 1868, the Zanker House was moved to History Park
in 1987 and restored in 1988

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Arch Diocese of San Jose- The Historic Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph

The Beautiful Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph
Downtown San Jose, California.
The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph, located in Downtown San Jose, is the cathedral for the Roman Catholic Diocese in San Jose. The Basilica is named for Saint Joseph, patron saint of the universal church.
The first non-parish church built in California, the original church was called San Jose de Guadalupe. The adobe structure was built at the current site of the basilica in 1803.

...Following the Renovation in 1990

The first church was damaged by earthquakes in 1818 and 1822. A new adobe church was built from 1835 to 1846. The second church was severely damaged by the 1868 Hayward quake and work began in 1869. The third church was destroyed by fire in 1875. A temporary fourth church was built a few blocks away while construction began on the fifth church.

Interior Stain Glass Ceiling is 48' Above
the Cathedral Floor

The fifth church was dedicated by the Archbishop of San Francisco, Joseph Alemany, in 1877 while still under construction. The current portico was completed in 1884 and the large dome was completed in 1885. A major renovation project began in 1981 and in 1985 the basilica was elevated to a cathedral pending the completion of the renovation in 1990.

Amazing Technology.

These cables were extended around the interior of the dome to provide support and prevent the dome from expanding outward. The large bolts were used to tighten or loosen the tension as needed. Amazingly, these domes survived the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. Seismic support systems were added to the ceilings and domes following the '89 quake.

Seismic Retrofits To Ceiling Added
Post 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake

The Beautiful Interior of the
Cathedral Basilica
The cathedral survive the 1989 Loma Prieta quake and subsequent seismic bracing was added to support the ceilings and domes of the building.

The cathedral was made a minor basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1997.
The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph is listed as a California Historical Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Among the Rubble in Downtown San Jose
following the 1906 Earthquake, the Domes of the
Cathedral of Saint Joseph stand in the background.

View of the Dome From the Roof

The Portico Completed
in 1884


The Original Dome
Still Exist
The familiar large dome on top of the cathedral hides a great secret. Rather than destroy the original smaller dome, the architects simply built the larger dome on top of it. The original dome can still be seen and accessed by people working in the ceilings and on the roofs.

Seismic Bracing to the Interior Dome
Added Post 1989 Loma Preita Earthquake
Dome on top of Dome