The Art of Historic Preservation

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