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, July 4, 2016

Silicon Valley's 22nd Century Museum

Silicon Valley Regional High Tech Poster/Map
2007 Silicon Maps

The Silicon Valley 22nd Century Museum was inspired by the world wide preservation and digital documentation efforts of organizations like CyArk and the World Heritage Foundation.
There are major historic preservation projects underway on six (6) of the world's seven (7) continents. These preservation efforts all involve detailed research, documentation and, in many ancient locations, archaeological excavations. These efforts are all focused on uncovering the inner working of a particular society; how people worked, their living conditions, their technology, their education and their art.

2D Rendering of an Ancient
Since the beginning of recorded time, human beings have documented their environment; buildings, cities, homes, machinery, weapons and technology. Archaeological projects, research and restoration/ preservation often center upon these  representations of the environment. These diagrams often contain much more than simple dimensional data, they provide insight into technology, individual status and life style.

Typical 2D Floor Plans

 The common thread in all documentation efforts is that technology has always limited them to simple 2 dimensional representations. Human beings have never had the ability to document their environment 3 Dimensions, until now.

For the first time in human history, we have the technology to provide a complete digital, 3D record of our environment for future generations. Silicon Valley companies have spearhead the technology revolution and changed the lives of individuals and societies around the world. The impact of Silicon Valley technologies will be the topic of educators, scholars and researchers for generations to come. It's only natural that a ground breaking technology project like this one would originate here in Silicon Valley. 

Our goal is to provide a digital record of our environment and make sure the data is accessible to future generations of researchers scholars

Based upon the Silicon Maps annual high technology regional poster, this 3D record of our environment will form the foundation of the 22nd Century Museum. The museum will house a digital record of historic buildings and iconic Silicon Valley locations. This five (5) year project will be a "snapshot in time"; Silicon Valley 2016-2021. 

For more than 20 years Silicon Maps developed and distributed a regional map/poster of Silicon Valley Technology Companies.
Silicon Valley Technology Company Poster
Silicon Maps 1993
The annual release of these posters was a well anticipated event. The posters went to the Convention and Visitor's Bureau, Chamber of Commerce(s) various cities, counties, etc.

Each entity had their own distribution network and each network anxiously awaited the annual release and distribution dates.

The Convention and Visitor's Bureau would send these regional maps to clients, visitor's, contractors, tourist, travel agencies, etc. 

When I worked for the San Jose Convention and Cultural Facilities there were a lot of city offices decorated with framed copies of one or more of these animated maps. The 22nd Century Museum takes the same concept of the  
Adobe World Headquarters
Downtown San Jose
SV Technology Poster and adds modern technology; GPS/GIS, Reality Capture technology, to create a precise 3 Dimensional representation of a chosen environment. 

While the original map(s) only featured the SV Valley high tech companies, the 22nd Century Museum will feature historic buildings from the past through year 2021. This will include everything from historic buildings like the Luis Peralta Adobe (cir. 1791) in Downtown San Jose to modern day iconic buildings like the Adobe Systems World Headquarters (cir.1996) in Downtown San Jose.

What are the benefits to this project?
There are several unique components to the 22nd Century Museum that have a significant impact on our community. 

1. Education

The 22nd Century Museum seeks to engage students from high school through graduate school in th engineering process. Through our documentation and preservation efforts, students will learn how to use laser scanners to create 3D records of buildings and structures.Students will also learn how to process and register data using the latest 3D software such as FARO Scene and Autodesk Recap. Students will digitally document buildings as part of a team
assignment. Under the supervision, the students will research an assigned building, property or history site. A work plan plan and schedule will be developed, along with a proposed presentation date. 

The technology students will be using is applicable in myriad disciplines:

Aeronautics, Architecture, Animation, Building/Construction, Civil Engineering, Design, Forensics Investigation, Gaming, Geography, GIS/GPS, Mapping, Mechanical Engineering,  Reverse Engineering, Museum Sciences, Surveying and many others.

2. Collection of Vital Data

Data collected will be archived of future reference. In case of natural or man-made disaster, the lasers scans can be used as geographic references, as digital blueprints, seismic references or for use by city/county planners and private contractors.

San Jose/Silicon Valley has lost a number of historic buildings and locations over the years. Many of these buildings had not records, blueprints or floor plans. In a few fortunate cases, we have been able to locate some photographs and city archives or in private collections. The 22nd Century Museum is the first set to establishing a digital archive of these historic buildings; a permanent record of the Valley's unique architecture.

1991 Silicon Valley Maps
Unlike current efforts to unlock secrets and understanding of a particular time and place, future scholars, students and researchers will have access to a dimensionally correct, archive of historic and iconic locations in and around Silicon Valley. 

3. Guest Services and Tourism
The poster produced and distributed by Silicon Maps garnered a very large and enthusiastic following among people in the convention and exhibition business. The concept was not only interesting, the ever changing landscape of the technology industry added a level of curiosity when comparing the most current rendition with years past. It was also a wonderful way to highlight and showcase the talent and innovation represented in the valley.

Locally, the tourism industry contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to Bay Area economies. World wide, the convention and tourism is a $7.6 trillion industry. The establishment of this innovative online project will revolutionize the convention and tourism industry, create new revenue streams and create new jobs for emerging services.
Luis Peralta Adobe
Downtown San Jose

The 22nd Century Museum will feature enhancements to the same interesting elements that made the original concept so successful. The added element of cultural history, interactive exhibits and virtual reality environments will expand demographics and provide something of interest to online guest of various backgrounds and interest. The idea is to highlight Silicon Valley Culture for tourist.

Silicon Valley's rich heritage will be on display to a worldwide audience. People from all walks of life will be able to go online and witness the Valley's rich cultural heritage and unique history through the world's first 3D regional map of it's kind.

4. The Internet of Things (IOT)
The 3D documentation of buildings and locations directly benefits and enhances the IOT concept. Laser scanning and point cloud technology is uniquely suited to establishing smart homes, smart buildings, smart cities and intelligent transportation. Building Information Modeling software used in conjunction with 3D point clouds or models provide building owner/operators with unique tools for management, maintenance and operations; including remote monitoring and operation of a home or facility, the ability to conduct simulations for air quality, lighting, sound and other environment issues. 

The concept of a network of physical devices, buildings and other items- embedded with electronics, software, sensors and actuators that enable these objects to collect and exchange data is at the foundation of the internet of things. Laser scanning is a key element to enhanced data collection and exchange. Actuators and sensors are embedded within the 3D environment, providing instant recall and an easily recognizable reference for management and operations.

Why Is This Project Important?
We are engaging students in a unique engineering and history project that will provide the foundation for the Silicon Valley's 22nd Century Museum. This is an opportunity to introduce students to engineering through a unique hands-on experience. The many benefits include but certainly are not limited to; on the job training for students in a variety a emerging engineering fields, the digital documentation of culturally significant buildings and locations in Silicon Valley, the establishment of a new STEM/STEAM initiative among SC County Schools, the establishment of a bridge to higher education and/or labor for students and a one of a kind high tech marketing tool for local cities and chamber of commerce.

Whether a student is interested in animation, civil engineering, software engineering or one of dozens of other disciplines this project offers a one of a kind opportunity to gain experience with latest reality capture technology.

The First Step In The Historic Documentation Process- The Historic Documentation of The San Jose Woman's Club, Summer/Fall 2016
 A Collaborative Project Between Notre Dame High School, San Jose CA., 
The San Jose Woman's Club and PointZ Taken Historic Documentation Specialist.

Visit and "Like Us" on Facebook

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