Virtual Design Analysis Group is a division of NVentum, LLC.

This unique collaborative endeavor; to utilize the latest reality capture technology to document the artifacts, buildings and campus of History San Jose, provides opportunities for private sector, non-profits and institutions of higher education to work together to solve some of today's most pressing engineering issues. The protocol for retrofitting as-built historic facilities and the use of new technologies to preserve our most prized historic treasures are vital to the continued success and expanded influence of our museums.
This blog will document the challenges and successes of this ambitious, one of a kind project.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Making The Case For Historic Documentation

"Historic preservation can -and should- be an important component of any effort to promote sustainable development. The conservation and improvement of our existing built resources, including re-use of historic and older buildings, greening the existing building stock and re-investment in older historic communities is crucial to combating climate change..." Preservation

California's First Civilian Settlement- November 29, 1777
California's First State Capital- 1849-1852
California's First Incorporated City- March 27, 1850

San Jose is the third largest city in California and the tenth largest city in the country. Founded in November 1777, El Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe was the first civilian town in the Spanish territory of Nueva California. The settlement served as a farming community to support military installations at Monterey and San Francisco, CA. Historic places help define and distinguish our communities by creating a strong sense of identity; understanding our heritage, connecting the stories of past generations to the experiences of today. 

Old Chinatown
(East side of Market Street, from San Fernando to San Carlos Streets)From 1872 to 1887 a large Chinese population lived and prospered in this area. By the late 1800's, downtown businesses were expanding and many of the business leaders wanted to relocate Chinatown. In 1887, after several unsuccessful attempts at relocation, a mysterious fire tore through Chinatown's wooden and brick structures. Within a matter of hours, the entire community was wiped off the map. This historic marker is the last reminder of the community and the people of old Chinatown.

Rare Photo of Old Chinatown
cir.1880/View From Market Street

The Donner-Houghton House
The Donner-Houghton House was built by Sherman Otis Houghton, a well known attorney and politician and in 1881. A former mayor f San Jose, Deputy Clerk of the California Supreme Court and Commissioner of the US Mint at San Francisco, in 1859, Mr. Houghton married Mary Martha Donner a survivor of the Donner Party. 
Donner-Houghton Mansion 2006
The Donner-Houghton home was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. Plans were being made to move the home to the San Jose History Park.
On the morning of July 9, 2007, the home was almost completely destroyed  by fire.
Donner-Houghton Mansion- July 2007
The Kelley House
Original Kelley House Elevation
at San Jose's Kelley Park
The 5600 Square Foot Kelley House was built in 1912 and was the last historical structure associated with the Kelley Family. The property was once owned by Louise Kelley who inherited it from her father, former San Jose mayor, Lawrence Archer.The 160 acre property was originally named "Lone Oak" was purchased in 1861. The original house burned to the ground in 
1909. The new home was built in the same location in 1910. In 1951, Louise Archer Flavin Kelley sold the house and 63 acres to the City of San Jose for use as a public park, on the condition she be allowed to live in the family home for the rest of her life. She died six months later in February 1952 at the age of 89. 
Kelley Fire 

Kelley House Fire
February 2012
In February 2012, the Kelley House was destroyed by fire. Estimates to restore the home to historic conditions are from $6 to $8 million.

IBM Building #25
IBM Building 25
When IBM erected the Advance Research Building number 25 in 1957, it was the symbol of Silicon Valley innovation. The building was developed to house IBM's top data-storage, who made history with the development of the flying head disc drive. The data technology allowed for online transaction processing, which companies like American Airlines used for real-time reservation systems. In 1958, Factory-Maintenance and management named the building "Plant of The Year" out of 900 sites. The Historic Landmarks Commission named this site is "one of the finest examples of Modern Industrial architecture in Santa Clara County". 
IBM's Historic Building #25
Destroyed by Fire March 2008

The documentation of historic architecture provides insight into the artistry, craftsmanship, culture and technology of our forefathers. Understanding the techniques and technology of the past helps pave the way for the innovations of today and tomorrow. Modern cutting edge sustainable construction technology, the efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of capital facilities and the emergence of LEED technology have their roots in the study of our historic architecture.

For more information on iconic Silicon Valley Architecture, 
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