The Art of Historic Preservation

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Historic Kelley Mansion, San Jose CA.

Built in 1912, the Kelley Mansion was destroyed by 2 alarm fire in 2012...

In 1861 Judge Lawrence Archer purchased 160 acres just outside of San José’s city limits. He named the property around Coyote Creek “Lone Oak.” Archer moved his family in 1869, from their downtown home to a two-story house surrounded by elaborate gardens and accessed by two avenues lined with pepper, cypress and eucalyptus trees. There he grew orchards of prunes, apricots, walnuts, and was especially proud of his cherries. A well respected resident and attorney, Archer came to California in 1852 and settled in San Jose in 1853. Active in community service, he was Mayor of San José in 1856 and 1878; a County Judge from 1867 – 71; and served at State Assemblyman from 1875 – 76. Archer left his “Lone Oak” property to his only daughter, Louise Archer Flavin Kelley. She inherited the land in 1910 and it became known as “Ar-Kel” an abbreviation of her maiden and married names...From HSJ webapage. www.historysanjoseorg

Monday, May 16, 2016

The San Jose Woman's Club

Documenting the Historic
       San Jose Woman's Club
San Jose Landmark #32

75 South 11th Street

A formal organization since 1894, the San Jose Woman's Club has a rich and interesting history.
This fall, young ladies from Notre Dame High School's engineering club will laser scan the historic  building in anticipation of the club's planned retrofit.

In addition to documenting the property for preservation purposes, the data will be used to assist the architects and contractors during the both the planning and construction phase of the retrofit, process. The significance of having the pre-engineering work on the building completed by these young ladies is what makes this project noteworthy. Introducing the next generation of designers and engineers to this technology, while studying one of the oldest women's organizations in the Bay Area is a truly unique opportunity.

The beautiful Spanish Revival Building on South Eleventh Street was completed in 1929. Currently, the building is still used as the clubhouse for the SJ Woman's Club however the building is a favorite
rental location for weddings and special events.

Under professional supervision, the documentation process will begin with a formal research on the structure, including blueprint review and visual inspections.
The students will develop a logistical plan and scan plot for the building and property based upon the client's requirements.
The scanning process is scheduled and the documentation completed, the data is processed into a 3D point cloud.
The point cloud will be developed into a fly-through model for the Woman's Club webpage.
The raw point cloud will be given to the SJ Woman's Club's architect for use as a 3D blueprint. The point cloud can be imported into AutoCAD or Revit software for planning, design or engineering.

The project is expected to take place over the course of a semester. However, the actual scanning and processing will take little more than a week total. The extended schedule is necessary to accomodate the demands of the students normal academic requirements and engineering/robotics club responsibilities.

Look for a follow-up blog post, a fly-through video and white paper by the students around December
of 2016.

For more on the history of the San Jose Woman's Club, visit them online at

Monday, May 9, 2016

Reality Capture Technology Summer Camp

Coming This July, The Reality Capture Technology Training Center will host our second annual summer technology camp at History Park in San Jose. The week long camp provides participants with hands on experience using state of the art laser scanning and photogrammetry technology to digitally document the historic buildings and artifacts at History Park. The data from the buildings and artifacts documented by the student/participants becomes part of the History San Jose archives and will eventually be featured in a major 3D exhibition.

Laser Scan from 2014 Summer Camp
by Aaron and Adam Rhetta
 Current reality capture technology allows users to collect billions of point measurements fast and safely, then register scans to create an accurate photo realistic unified 3D point cloud model. The overall benefit of the 3D model is extreme accuracy of the data collected and the ability to seamlessly transfer knowledge and information from user to user, user to client or user to the general public.

Whether you have an interest in art, animation, architecture, building/construction, design, engineering, forensic investigation, geomatics, operations or surveying, reality capture technology will play a major role in the future of these and related vocations.
Laser Scan by
Brittany Bradley and Liz York
JFK University

We are looking for students from 8th grade through 12th grade who are interested in participating in the summer technology camp.Students must be residents of Santa Clara County and must commit to the entire week long program.

We are also looking for college interns with an interest in architecture, computer science (software), construction, engineering, photography, surveying or related fields who are interested in learning about new technology.

Laser Scan X Section of
the Historic Pasetta House
Camp Schedule:
July 13th   9:00am to 4:00pm
July 14th   9:00am to 4:00pm
July 15th   9:00am to 4:00pm
July 16th   9:00am to 4:00pm
July 17th   9:00am to 4:00pm the Historic Pacific Hotel at History Park in San Jose. 

The Reality Capture Technology Training Center was established with several objectives in mind. Objective One (1); to digitally document the artifacts, buildings and property at History Park. Objective Two (2); Expand the reach and scope of History San Jose's archives through 3D exhibits. Objective Three (3); to introduce students to engineering, mathematics and science through a hands on experiences with reality capture technology. Objective Four (4);provide
Leica 6000s  Laser Scanner
supplemental technology resources for public schools and STEAM educators. 
Objective Five (5); to provide student/participants with marketable, 21st century job skills

Our goals are as follows, Goal One (1);to establish a sustainable technology training center and resource for our students and educators. Goal Two (2);to inspire students to pursue higher education and/or find a career path through local labor organizations. Goal Three (3) to digitally document the architecture, property and history of San Jose. 

 Much of the documentation of our historic buildings and artifacts are done by students and interns, under the supervision of industry professionals. 

3D Focus

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Preservation vs Progress; San Jose's Renaissance

As the City of San Jose continues to evolve,  efforts are being made to accommodate the new while preserving the past.
PointZ Taken is proud to be a part of this city's preservation efforts.

Charles "Doc" Herrold Building, Downtown San Jose
Historic Marker #74

Charles David "Doc" Herrold (November 16, 1875 – July 1, 1948) was an American inventor and pioneer radio broadcaster, who began experimenting with audio radio transmissions in 1909. Beginning in 1912 he apparently became the first person to make entertainment broadcasts on a regular schedule, from his station in San Jose, California.
460 South Market Street

Market Street Facade of the Doc Herrold Building.
460 South Market Street
San Jose, CA.

455 South 1st Street

1st Street Facade of the
Historic "Doc" Herrold Building
455 South 1st Street

460-480 South Market Street Facade
PointZ Taken has been contracted to provide the digital documentation services for the preservation of the Charles "Doc" Herrold building. The documentation of both the South Market Street and South 1st Street facades took place on Saturday February 13th. Our tool of choice was the FARO Focus 120X.
455-467 South 1st Street

The Future
Core Companies will develop a 24 story apartment building on this key corner of San Jose's SoFA District. The developer is working with architects and preservationist to incorporate the historic aspects of this building into the new designs

Architects Rendering of the proposed 24 story Gateway Towers

The tower would rise at the corner of South Market and East William streets and include 292 units — up from 280 in the preliminary plans.   But two adjustments are more important than unit count: The first is the treatment of two older existing buildings on the site — one of which is on the city’s list of historic landmarks. The other is an enhancement to the retail space. What remains of the historic aspects of the building; the brick facades, brick interior walls and beamed ceilings must remain intact.

1st Church of Christ Scientist, Downtown San Jose...

was designed by one of California's most famous architects, Willis Polk (1867-1924). The entrance to the church features four fluted ionic columns and the interior is in the shape of a Greek cross. There is a 45' by 14' lobby that leads to a large 62'x 62' main auditorium with a seating capacity of 500 people. A 45' dome sits above the central space and 58 Corinthian plasters embellish the interior. The space is surrounded by windows, 16' from the floor. The 1st Church is listed as a "contributing structure" to the St. James Historic District which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
1st Church of Christ Scientist
Built in 1904

Barry Swenson Builders, owners of the property, will be restoring the 1st Church of Christ Scientist to its original 1905 splendor. As you can see from some of these photos, this won't be an easy task. 

Damage to Ceiling/Dome

Massive Holes 
The damage to the building includes everything from the intricate wall moldings and massive holes in the walls to uneven floors.

Classic Moldings and Pillars
Beautiful, classic crown moldings, fluted, decorative wall pillars dominate the interior of the church. All are required to be restored to their original condition.
Damage to Walls, Moldings and Windows
in the Balcony of the 1st Church
The traditional methods used to restore the intricately detailed moldings on the ceilings, and decorative pillars are the same tried and true methods that have been used for a hundred years; create a plaster mold, by hand, that can be used to replicate the specific damaged item, part or section.
For the first time in their preservation process, BSB is using laser scanning technology to digitally document the building to assist in the reproduction of damaged moldings as well as a host of other uses.
Laser Scan of the Main Floor of the 1st Church
contains over 400,000,000 data points

Laser Scans Courtesy of PointZ Taken

PointZ Taken has been contracted to provide the digital documentation services for the 1st Church of Christ Scientist preservation and restoration project. 

The laser scanning process took place on Friday February 12th and Wednesday February 17th. The tool of choice was the FARO Focus 330x Long Range Laser Scanner. As usual, the FARO Focus proved to be ideal for this type of job. Light weight, maneuverable and easy to operate, the FARO Focus was perfect for climbing narrow balcony stairs, navigating dark vomitories. The mission was to provide as much data as possible for the client; data on the extent of the interior damage, data on the condition of the walls, ceilings and floors. We began by scanning the front exterior of the building, collecting data on the street elevations, stairs and columns. 

From the front steps we worked our way into the lobby and from the lobby to the main floor and on to the balcony. A total of 37 scans were taken; 6 on the front exterior and 31 scans inside the structure. With a range of over 300 meters on the FARO Focus laser scanner, I knew this was massive overkill however on a project like this you can never have too much information. In reality, this project could have been completed in half the number of scans and in less than half the time if you are interested in creating a point cloud of the building that has general dimensional information. However, when construction preservation and/or restoration is involved detail is often critical. Considering the purpose for gathering data on this building, I decided that much more is better.

The 37 scans have an average of 23,000,000 points each. As you might guess, the processing for this amount of data was extremely long. (The best thing to do when handling this much data is to allow your computer to process overnight and pray it doesn't crash while your asleep.) The information provided can be used to reverse engineer moldings, virtually construct or redesign aspects the building, to monitor and evaluate the structure before and after the proposed relocation and myriad other things.
The Future
Barry Swenson Builders will make the 1st Church of Christ Scientist the centerpiece of the new Park View Towers project. Park View Towers will consist of 214 units and 6 town
homes. The plan calls for the church to be picked up and moved 20 feet over (West) to accommodate modifications to the foundation and the planned underground parking.
Rendering of BSB's Park View Towers

PointZ Taken...
At the intersection of Art-Design-Engineering-Technology

FARO Technologies