Friday, February 26, 2010

Historic green

The Historic Preservation ad Restoration Club was created by students at College of the Redwoods last fall. Our goals were and are to market and share our program, to educate ourselves and others on the field of and techniques in preservation and to raise funds to help members continue their education through outside opportunities and training. Historic Green is one such opportunity. Historic Green is a non- profit working in the Holy Cross community of the lower ninth ward in New Orleans. They specialize in “sustainable preservation,” meaning they are dedicated to restoring historic buildings damaged by Hurricane Katrina and neglect using green building practices.
We leave March 13th for NOLA!!!

Check out Historic Green's Blog at Two of Historic Green's founders are featured in a article in Preservation Magizine this month. (article below via

By Lindsey M. Roberts

Ryan Evans, 32, and Jeremy Knoll, 28, worked in Kansas—three states and 300 miles away from Louisiana. But when the friends learned that residents of New Orleans' Holy Cross neighborhood wanted to turn their storm-battered enclave into the nation's first carbon-neutral community, they saw an opportunity. In 2008, Evans, a mechanical engineer, and Knoll, an architect, took 350 volunteers to historic Holy Cross to restore and green homes. Their sustainable preservation efforts proved so successful that they incorporated a nonprofit called Historic Green, which helps dozens of neighbors retrofit their residences and save on energy bills each year. Historic Green volunteers also refurbish old windows, teach restoration techniques, and install innovative vapor barriers that inhibit the growth of mold. Knoll says residents can now afford to maintain energy-­efficient homes—and pass them along to their kids: "They're no longer priced out of their own neighborhood." Both entrepreneurs hope that communities around the world will benefit from their success. "Our model isn't being repeated anywhere on this scale," Evans says. "We hope to change that."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Barnum House Historic Window Restoration Project

Over the coming weeks I will document the process of restoring a historic leaded glass window. The window is from the Barnum House c. 1900, headquarters of the Humboldt County Historical Society in Eureka, California. This project is being carried out in an atmosphere of mutual benefit and dynamic equilibrium between students at College of the Redwoods and the stewards of the Barnum House. I feel great pride in being able to contribute my time and efforts towards the restoration of this magnificent work of art.

Learning About Historic Millwork

In our Architectural Millworking class we are designing and building a model storefront. It is still in the early stages, as you can see from the pictures. Here's Jeff planning his section of the piece, the door hood and casing. Below that is the frame for the project, affixed to our wood shop "mezzanine."

Millwork - milled doors, sash, windows, transoms, trim, moldings, paneling and more - was originally manufactured at small local shops (especially places close to a good supply of lumber), making its debut during the Victorian era. Architectural millworking in the United States had its "Golden Age" between approximately 1890 and 1910 when rapid industrialization and an expanding railroad system during America's Industrial Revolution made it possible for millwork to be mass produced and distributed across the country.

Humboldt County is home to many buildings that exemplify the art of millworking, the Carson Mansion (below) once again supplies us with ample details.

We'll post more updates on our "storefront" as it progresses!

Monday, February 22, 2010

picture of the day

Claire showing off some of her detailed work made in historic millwork class.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

picture of the day

This is a stained glass window made in material science: glass class. Unfortunately 5 of the panels were broke en route home over winter break. I have started to repair it by reheating the solder joints and removing lead cane and broken glass. More photos to come.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

picture of the day

Students(Claire and Jeff) made this in kind replacement for an old, damaged window sill.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wallpaper is cool again

Raspberry Bramble custom wallpaper from Bradbury and Bradbury
Recently that has been a resurgence in popularity of wallpaper. This means not only creating new wallpaper inspired by historic wallpaper, but also the restoration of old wallpaper. Historically wallpaper was used to help hand plastered walls looks straighter, add a layer of insulation and create a unique and often ornate appearance to a room. Often before wallpaper was laid, canvas or muslin was streched over walls, sized with a glue and layered with thin paper. Then hand printed wallpaper was expertly placed over. This made for a very stiff system of wallpaper that, in the old days, was said could be taken down and moved with it's owner. This method also kept it in good shape, so today there are many wallpaper conservation projects. If you are intrested in learn more or looking at some of these beautiful paper here are some resources. Burt Kallander, a historic wallpaper restorer and master printmaker. - a company specializing in historic wallpaper reproductions a historic wallpaper collection and cool blog dedicated to it rare and unusual vintage wall paper Funky new wall paper

Anagylpta wallpaper

Art deco border from Bradbury and Bradbury

Historically inspired modern bat wallpaper from flavorleague

"gritty" wallpaper from flavorleague

Monday, February 15, 2010

Picture of the day

I love this architectural element, which is part of the Humboldt County Historical Society Barnum house. The Historical Society has an excellent research library and and extensive collect of photo from the area.( Many town (even small) have Historical Societies or museums that some people living there never know about.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pictures of the day 2/14

Whether you live in Eureka, another small community or a big city, try taking a walk, but a new way or out of your way. Try taking alleys. You may discover new sites and buildings that you never knew existed.

I discovered these vintage old signs used as sheathing on this old garage. I also saw some architecture that I never noticed before.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

picture of the day 2/10

Hand planes are used in many preservation projects. This one was loved and well used by a dad. When he passed on his son discovered it and restored it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

This 1920's storybook cottage was part of the Eureka Heritage Society's 2009 home tour. I had the privilege of working here during the home tour, and also getting the chance to see the other beautiful homes on the tour. For more information on the EHS and the event they sponsor follow their link at the bottom of this page.

Monday, February 8, 2010

PIcture of the day 2/08

This old apartment building's stucco facade crumbled off after Eurekas series of recent earthquakes. The stucco already had water damage and was poorly maintained. You can see the redwood lath walls exposed. Lath is horizontal wood strips that plaster was applied to for interior walls and in this case stucco.Lath and plaster was a precursor to drywall and used in this area until the late 1950's. Some historic homes are still restored using this technique.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

picture of the day 2/07

Making multiple Buddhas from different materials in the material science: casting and mold making class. The Buddhas are practice before making historic ornamentation from such materials.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

picture of the day 2/05

Introducing the Historic Preservation and Restoration Technology T-Shirt. Comes in navy and size S-2XL for $15 dollars. if interested in having one please email us at The proceeds go towards the clubs educational trip to New Orleans this spring.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

picture of the day 2/02

Thank you Bill Hole (seen here preserving historic dance moves) for his hard work in keeping the field school going and our program alive.