Northwest Corner Final Phase Update

by Michael H. Imwalle

Presidio Northwest Corner defense wall, January 2014. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Presidio Northwest Corner Defense Wall, January 2014. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

After receiving funding from the Outhwaite Foundation, Ann Jackson Family Trust, Hutton Parker Foundation, and the California Mission Foundation, a big push was made to finish the Northwest Corner Defense Wall.  By November 2013 the long section of Western Defense Wall from Canon Perdido Street to the Northwest Corner was completed to the height of the tile cap. The sandstone foundation was also completed for the short section of the Second Outer Defense Wall east of the gate.

West Coast Lathe and Plastering at work plastering the Northwest Corner defense wall. Photo by Michael H. Imwalle.
West Coast Lathe and Plaster at work plastering the Northwest Corner Defense Wall. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

In December 2014 Trust Director Tim Aguilar and Trust Maintenance Supervisor Eduardo Garcia completed laying the adobe blocks for that section, leaving the concrete on either side of the new gate exposed until a gate could be designed. In March a crew from West Coast Lath and Plaster generously donated the time and materials to plaster the outer wall.

Installing steel tubes for the front gate hinges. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Installing steel tubes for the gate hinges. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

With the assistance of Trust Director Don Sharpe, architect Anthony Grumbine of Harrison Design Associates, and structural engineer Jeff Haight of Ehlen, Spiess, & Haight we were able to design an appropriate gate and engineer the way it would be attached to the concrete columns within the adobe wall. In July of this year, General Contractors Channel Coast Corporation installed rectangular steel tubes to which the gate hinges will be welded.

Applying an adobe veneer. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Applying an adobe veneer. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

Once the steel tubes were installed a crew from Dave Tait Masonry installed the  sandstone and adobe veneer to conceal the columns.

Finishing the tile cap. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Finishing the tile cap. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

Finally a crew from Cambron Roofing & Waterproofing installed the last of the tile cap on either side of the gate. Special thanks are extended to all the contractors that donated their time to finish this phase of the project.

Currently Trust Restoration Specialist Isidro Ruiz is continuing plastering and whitewashing of the wall surfaces (current photo of NWC whitewashed). We hope to complete the whitewashing on September 20th with volunteers from the United Way Day of Caring. The final step in completing the Northwest Corner Defense Wall will be the installation of the gate.  Stay tuned for the big unveiling!

The Northwest Corner Defense Wall September 12, 2014 . Photo by Mike Imwalle.
The Northwest Corner Defense Wall September 12, 2014 . Photo by Mike Imwalle.

Michael Imwalle is the archaeologist at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. 

2 thoughts on “Northwest Corner Final Phase Update”

  1. Patrick,

    Good to hear from you. This is not an original gate. It will provide administrative access for staff, contractors, and vendors. It is also the primary access from the ADA parking spaces to the accessible path leading to the new Northwest Corner Visitor;s Center. It will also provide access from the main museum complex to the new Presidio Education Center which will be comprised of the Pico adobe and the soon to be re-located Bonilla house. There is much more to come soon!

    Take care,

    Mike

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