Architectural Ornaments Getting their Make-Over

Zoom into the upper part of the first photo when the roof was still on. See the architectural ornaments (panels, brackets and fascia) ? They have been removed and are being cleaned, sanded, refinished and restored.       Some of the brackets had termite infestation and some had dry rot. This is normal for…

Separating the Wheat from the Chaff

This week were days of pulling things down and sorting out what can be saved and reused: and surprisingly more than we expected! The fascias, brackets, window pediments and some dormer windows were in very good condition for its age. There is much to be said about the importance of quality wood in longevity of…

Steel Rods to “Bind” Exterior & Interior Walls

  Plastic tubes with wire meshing are being cut and joined to the length required for imbedding into the stone walls. The plastic tubes span the depth of both the interior and exterior walls. Holes are bored by drilling on the stone walls. These holes are spaced 2.5 feet apart in all directions.   The…

Yellow Diamonds on the Roof ?

  At the Sharpsteen Museum a few weeks ago, I noticed yellow “diamonds” on the roofs of houses in the diorama of “Calistoga’s yesteryears”. What they meant, no one there could tell me. My curiosity led me to ask a Napa architectural historian, Stacey de Shazo, who told me it was, as I suspected, purely…

The Importance of Grouting

The rains last week put a halt with work on the stone exterior walls. But today we made decisions on the type and color of grout for the exterior walls. Proper grouting is a very important to the stability, waterproofing and aesthetics of a historic building. It basically means filling in the areas around the…

The Francis House Will Become a Home Again

How many of you were born in The Old Calistoga Hospital?” Dwyer asked the audience at the Sharpsteen Museum last week, and about seven raised their hands. “It’s our intention to restore the structure to its original grandeur,” he continued. “The way James Francis envisioned it… as a home.” Dwyer said that he had just…