Historic 1850’s Buildings to be Saved
Feb. 20, 2012
It appears that the two buildings located at 301 and 305 Main Street, Placerville have found a champion in Archaeologist and Cultural Anthropologist Professor Timothy Taylor of Camino. Taylor, who has lived in the area since the late 70’s and teaches Computer Information Science at SCC, is no newcomer to historic restorations. As Chief Renovation Specialist, he led the team that from 1969 to 1971 stabilized the circa 921 A.D. Anasazi Indian site near Blanding, Utah. Later in 1971, he was hired by the Utah Navajo Development Council as Director of Archaeology and Restoration for the Edge of the Cedars (circa 825 to 1125 A.D) project, also near Blanding.
Professor Taylor and his wife, Building Designer Sue Taylor, are purchasing the two adjacent structures and are assembling an impressive team of preservation craftsmen to do the work. Both structural engineer Doug Ketron and Historic Brick Mason Leland Petersen have agreed to lend their talents and expertise to the effort.
Taylor intends to conduct an archaeological survey of the site as the floors are lifted and the soil exposed during the earthquake retro-fitting process. He will be documenting all of the planning, work and his experiences with local agencies. Using the restoration of the once to be demolished 1850’s Main Street treasures as a model, he plans to publish his “Guide to Restoring Forgotten Buildings in Historic California.” Taylor says, reminiscent of the Civil War battle cry, “We must hold the line,” since he and his wife believe that to let go of these two pages of history would lead to the demise of so many more. Taylors would like to acknowledge The Friends of Historic Hangtown and the Saunders Company for their consistent efforts to save the buildings from demolition.
When the project has been completed, the buildings will house local businesses, artisans, craftsmen, and senior and community groups. Some of the ideas on the table so far are a community certified kitchen, a senior co-op., a bistro (featuring local foods) and an LPFM radio station.
Because of the nature, scope and rewards of the project, restoration groups, educational departments and history buffs from around the country will be involved in the progress via the Internet. The team plans to present their Journal, “Saving 301 & 305 Main Street,” to a National audience.
The Taylor’s Restoration Project can be found at their website www.hangmanstree.com. Information, updates, videos and forecasts will be posted regularly. It may be that even a documentary is in the works. The site will keep everyone “up to speed,” as the planning continues and the restoration and documentation begin. Interested persons are invited to send ideas, suggestions, questions and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. Stories and copies of photographs of the “Red and White” buildings would also be welcome