Thursday, November 18, 2010

November Archaeological Work at the Castro Adobe

Karen Hildenbrand continues to work (along with her dedicated crew of volunteers) on the exact location of the brasero, as well as identifying and cataloging the car parts found in the floor of the cocina.
Dave Calleri and Mike Luther work in the cocina.

Karen Loeffler cleans and catalogs artifacts found at the site.

Below are photographs of a few of the items found:
Car parts found in cocina floor. Image courtesy of Dave Calleri.

1926 newspaper. Image courtesy of Dave Calleri.

Tooled leather.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Early October News at the Castro-Cocina Work Continues

Archeology work has continued at the Castro Adobe. Karen Hildenbrand and her crew of volunteer archaeologists, Mike Luther, Dave Calleri and Karen Loeffler, have been steadily working on items found in the trash pits inside the cocina. Among the various items identified were a local 1926 newspaper clipping and various car parts. Hildenbrand assumes that most of the items in the trash pit were dumped in at once, not deposited over time. Their work on the identification of the trash pit feature continues.

Investigations also continue with the exact size of the brasero (masonry range). A line of ash debris on the floor (the ash debris is from stoking the fire in the range) serves as the guide by which to determine the width of the bracero. The photograph below is an example of what the brasero may looked like:
Image courtesy of Rancho San Andres Castro Adobe Historic Structure Report. 2003. pg. 97.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Discoveries at the Castro Adobe-August 2010

Karen Hildenbrand, State Parks Archaeologist, has been working with volunteers on the cocina (historic kitchen) at the Castro Adobe. They have been attempting to locate the original footprint of the bracero (masonry range) in the cocina. She is also interested in the details of construction of the earthen floor in the room.

In the 1960s, the cocina was paved over with concrete in order for use as a formal garage. In early August 2010, the concrete was removed and the top of the earthen floor was exposed. It was here that Hildebrand exposed the stone perimeter foundation and the layers of the earthen floor. See Photo #1 (overall site) and Photo #2 (stone foundation).
She also appears to have found the location of the bracero which was built directly on the smooth earthen floor. In Photo #3, Karen points to the location of the bracero adjacent to the north wall. It was approximately 6-feet long and the width has yet to be determined. This is important because now these measurements and locational data can be used to reconstruct the bracero for interpretive purposes.

Hildenbrand also found two other important historic features in the room. Trenches were dug along the south wall of the cocina which exposed holes for square posts. The use of these posts are not clear, although it most likely relates to the cocina being used early on to board horses. The posts may have supported a storage area for the hay or some other equine use.

The other feature is a trash pit relating possibly to wagon storage and definitely to repair of early automobiles. In the trash pit, volunteers found two metal steps for a carriage, car repair debris, old newspapers and oil along with wood and various other discarded objects. Photo #4 shows the trash pit.

Work continues at the cocina so stay tuned for another update!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Article on the Castro Adobe-January 16, 2010

Today's article on the Castro Adobe in the Register-Pajaronian:

A big thank you to Charlie Kieffer, a local Castro descendant, for keeping the press up-to-date on the progress at the Castro Adobe!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

January 2010. Castro Adobe Update

Last year the work on the first phase of the project was mostly complete. Although the Direct Construction Unit (DCU) crew along with the California Conservation Corps (CCC) crew stopped working due to winter weather in 2008, on-going work continued to take place. In the fall of 2009, the cocina roof was completed (thanks to the California State Parks Sunset Maintenance crew) and the roofing on the entire building was complete. Let’s review this incredible project:

The project started in February 2008 with the intent of seismic stabilizing and possibly repairing some of the cracks in the historic adobe building. The project, through the coordinated efforts of the Direct Construction Unit, California State Parks and Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, exceeded everyone's expectations. As of November 2008, DCU crew had:

1. Dismantled and rebuilt the north wall along with other walls in the cocina.

2. Dismantled and rebuilt part of the south wall.

3. Seismically stabilized the building.

4. Installed a new roof.

5. Repaired, mud plastered and limewashed all cracks on the exterior.

And don’t forget the Castro Adobe Brick Making Project which took place in the summer of 2007. In fact, we are proud to announce that Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks received a California Preservation Foundation Design Award for the work on the project! We are excited and very proud to receive this award!

Future 2010 and beyond:
We look forward to continued community involvement in the form of volunteers, donations and support to reach the next phases and work toward the complete restoration of the historic Rancho San Andreas Castro Adobe. Currently, the Interpretive Plan is being prepared to comprehensively plan for the next phase of work and interpretation on the historic Castro Adobe. Check back for information on upcoming events including the highly successful lecture series. Last year’s lectures series included:

· Dr. Jarrell Jackman (Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation) gave us the "dirt" on Earthen Architecture
· Mark Hylkema (California State Parks Archaeologist) an overview of the Californio Period of our history
· Historian Charlene Duval, and Friends Board Member Charlie Kieffer, history of the Adobe itself and the Castro family connection.
Looking forward to 2010 and beyond!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Balcony Roof Complete!

The roof on the balcony is complete (see Photos #1 & 2 )!

The balcony has been raised 13", close to its original height and can now accommodate a standing person (see Photos #3 and #4 for before and after shots). The next phase of the project will include restoring the balustrade and posts of the balcony but for now it will remain with blocks in place to support the new roof slope.



Other work on the Castro Adobe includes finishing the roof shingle installation on the rear overhang and the balcony roof. Work will now focus on the main part of the roof (see Photo #5). The ice & water shield has been installed along with the breather barrier. The next step is to install the shingles on the main part of the roof.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Balcony Roof

This week, the DCU crew began the task of raising the balcony roof on the east side of the building. In one of the many restorations/rehabilitations in the 1950s, the front balcony was reconstructed incorrectly and resulted in a balcony with limited headroom and a dangerously low balustrade. (Photo #1 shows the roof removed from the balcony.)

Raising the roof involved tearing off the old rafters and sheathing and raising the roof 13". New 4x4 redwood beams were installed along with new 2 x 4 redwood rafters. The balustrade will stay for now but will eventually be replaced in a later phase of the project. (Photos #2 and #3 show the new rafters in place.)

Other ongoing work includes continued work on the east elevation overhang roof (see Photo #4) and completion of the construction and lime wash of the south wall (see Photo # 5).


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sept 22-26 Even More Roof Work

The cocina roof is almost done...we are awaiting the barn shingles which should be delivered from Washington State in the next week or so. As you may remember from earlier posts:

"The roof on the cocina will essentially consists of two roof coverings which will create an accurate historical representation of the roof from interior and from the exterior. From the interior of the cocina, one will see exposed cedar shingles which were originally visible from inside the room of the cocina. These will be topped by painted black plywood sheathing and then barn shingles will be installed on the exterior of the cocina roof. "
Photo #1 shows the plywood being placed on top of the cedar shingles.

Next the barn shingles need to delivered and installed. After that, the cocina roof is complete!

On the east elevation overhang, the new roof shingles are being installed on the 1 x 4 redwood sheeting. Photos #3 and #4 show the shingles being installed by Chris Barazza.

On the main part of the roof, the plywood has been placed and nailed off. The next step is to install the 30lb. felt. The felt underlayment will make the roof water tight. All of the cedar shingles have been delivered and are awaiting installation (see Photo #5). -JK

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Roof Work Sept 8-15

Yes, more work on the roof continues. The plywood (27 sheets of plywood!) have been installed on the entire main building. (Due to inclement weather the plywood has been covered by tarps, but can be seen on the interior of the building in Photos #1 & 2.) Next up is the installation of the roof underlayment upon which the cedar shingles will be placed in the coming weeks. The fascia boards and overhangs have also been installed on the building (see Photo #3).

Other work focuses on the overhangs and balcony roof on the east and west elevations. On the east elevation overhang, the top sheathing will be replaced with new redwood 1 x4 boards (Photo #4 shows the east elevation overhang prior to work beginning on sheathing.)

Work on the west elevation includes reframing the balcony roof to reflect the original roof slope. Photos of this work will be posted next week.-JK

Friday, September 5, 2008

More Roof Work

This week, September 2-5, the DCU crew completed the installation of all the stainless steel and the ridge blocks. The ridge blocks sit in between the rafters (see Photo #1). On the exterior, DCU crew member, Pancho Villa, back filled the void created by the ridge blocks with adobe bricks (see Photo #2).

In the cocina, the all thread rods are being inserted from the cocina wall, through the roof rafters and attach to the exterior wall. This will help stabilize the exterior wall. (See photos #3, 4, and 5). Photo #4 shows the rods on the interior (note steel rod in center of photo) while Photo #5 show the rods and how they are attached on the exterior.

Next week the crew plans to install the plywood for the underlayment of the roof. The new roof is getting closer and closer to completion!