Constructed in 1909 to house the remains of the de la Montanya family, the de la Montanya monument is an ornate, elaborate structure carved from soft Colusa sandstone. After surviving multiple earthquakes and years of deferred maintenance, the structure had become unsafe, leading the monument to being temporarily shored and enclosed with scaffolding.
Working with ARG Conservation Services, it was determined that a great deal of the monument’s historic fabric could be saved. Due to the advanced state of deterioration of the monument’s upper section, selective demolition was necessary to address life-safety issues and the deteriorated steel frame within the structure.
Removal of the deteriorated and unstable masonry required rigging safety equipment to safely lower the units to the ground so that they could be documented, labeled, and stored in a covered location on the property. To prevent moisture intrusion, all of the monument’s roofing and gutters were re-coated, and all failing mortar joints were removed and replaced with a compatible hydraulic lime pointing mortar. In addition to the selective demolition, any salvageable loose or cracked masonry was stabilized by setting or pinning. Threaded fiberglass rods were used in conjunction with epoxy grout to pin loose and unstable sandstone masonry to the structure’s existing stable masonry.