Friday
Feb142014

Week of February 14th, 2014

When Armijo’s son and daughter-in-law died abruptly in 1902, his two granddaughters moved into the home with he and his wife.  When Nestor passed away in 1911, an event which made statewide news, the home was inherited by his granddaughters, Josephine and Gertrude Armijo.  Josephine (Gallagher) lived in the home until her death in 1977 at which time the property’s ownership was transferred to the owners of the Loretto Shopping Center. Several years later, in 1981, the Pioneer Savings and Trust Bank renovated and repurposed the home in order to use it as an office.  Following their vacating the building in 1991 the Armijo house was used by Citizens Bank and was leased out, only to be vacated in 2009 after exhibiting extensive structural deterioration.

 


 

This week we began removing internal fixtures and baseboards from the home. This exposed the foundation of the interior walls, which allowed us to further evaluate the structural stability. The baseboards were all saved, and will be placed in storage until the time that we are ready to re-begin the work on restoring the interior.

 

And exterior adobe screen wall had been added by the bank to hide from view the HVAC system. This wall was torn down in order to prepare for removing the existing HVAC systems and the concrete sidewalks.

 

Scaffolding was added to the exterior veranda that would allow us to further evaluate its integrity. What was discovered was that in its existing form, the elevated porch is unstable, rotting in various places, and will require extensive reconstruction. We discovered that the veranda itself was an amalgamation of original construction, and pieces that had been refit and reconstructed as the original beams gave way to decay. As this was determined, the crew begin the process of removing parts of the front veranda. As with the internal baseboards, all pieces of the external veranda, regardless of their condition, were saved for the possibility of reusing the original lumber in the completed project.

 

 

Friday
Jan312014

Week of January 31st, 2014

This week saw the commencement of the evaluation of the buildings components and fixtures. This required exhaustive documentation of the current conditions, in addition to ongoing evaluation of the structural integrity of the home. Each elevation of the building was photographically documented in exhaustive detail in order to allow us to reference the pre-construction conditions later in the project.

 

After the documentation was completed, the crew began to remove internal fixtures as well as several original building components such as doors.  These fixtures will be evaluated at a later date to determine at what point they were added to the building. It’s our hope that we can reuse as much of the original material as possible while completing the restoration. In many cases this will require that they be reworked in order to fit the needs of the impending tenant, as well as preserving the historical integrity of the home.

 

The initial grading and removal of the landscape surrounding the home was also started.  This first required the removal of several tons of concrete sidewalks and the concrete drive through of the teller window. The uneven grade of the grounds surrounding the building was causing water drainage issues, which ultimately resulted in further damage to the adobe foundation.

 

Friday
Jan242014

Week of January 24th, 2014

The final external supports for the shoring were added this week. At the end of the week, the scaffolding was removed from the side of the building, leaving only the external shoring in place.

 

From beginning to completion, the process of shoring and securing the western wall took over a month to finish – allowing of course for time away from the project for the holidays. While it may seem to have been quite a laborious task, the condition of the wall necessitated reinforcing it securely as possible. Not only will this ensure that the safety of both myself and my crew, but it was imperative to the work of the project. As we begin the restoration project with replacing adobe bricks at the base of the building, it is possible that the building will do additional settling and shifting, and we simply could not afford possibility of risking the wall collapsing.

The next step in the process will to remove the concrete sidewalks and regrade the site so the rainwater can drain away from the walls.  

 

Friday
Jan102014

Week of January 10th, 2014

The home was originally constructed in 1868 by Bradford Daily as a small, single-story four room adobe.  Mr. Armijo purchase the home from Daily’s widow in 1877, having previously acquired a large parcel of land adjacent to the property where the home was constructed. After purchasing the home, Armijo added additional rooms onto the property, as well as performed a moderate amount of landscaping work to increase the beauty of the site. Subsequent addtions included the conversion of the property into a two-story home—largely believed to have been the first two-story property in Doña Ana County—as well as the addition of a Victorian style veranda.

 


 

This week the crew continued to work on mounting the outside shoring to the internal framing which will support the western facing wall while the home is under construction. Five foot allthreads were placed through the wall in order to connect the two shoring structures.  The internal framing was completed, with extra framing instituted at ground level in order to provide additional support for the 2nd floor.

Outside, a footer trench parallel to the walls foundation was dug in order to provide a a base for the exterior shoring. As stabilization continues, we foresee a need to replace several of the adobe bricks in the footer its self in order to help with wall stabilization.  The final construction of the shoring will provide ample stability as we commence work on other parts of the building.

 

Friday
Dec272013

Week of December 27th, 2013

This week the shoring of the western wall continued.  After completing the work that was begun last week the crew will be taking a break until after the New Year.  

After the initial planning for the wall's shoring was completed the outside supports were put into place.  This required framing the inside of the wall in order to anchor the wall's internal supports. 

As the interior walls were prepped for the framing, we uncovered additional stress fractures that were initially a cause for concern.  Working with the engineer we will determine at a later date the best course of action for fortifying the wall's structure.