The globally recognized architecture firm Page & Turnbull, known widely for leadership in historic buildings and neighborhoods, has announced the completion of a wide-ranging exterior restoration of Sacramento’s noted building, The Senator.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the former Hotel Senator that reopened in 1983 as the 10-story Senator Hotel Office Building for lobbyists and California government officials, is prominently located across from the State Capitol. According to architect Melisa Gaudreau, AIA, associate principal and director of Page & Turnbull’s Sacramento office, the 180,000-square-foot building first opened in 1924 and stands as a valuable example of the area’s Renaissance Revival-style architecture, with a notable high-ceilinged loggia and reception area.
Rejuvenating the landmark’s cement plaster façade with decorative precast concrete detailing — along with its wood windows and metal cornice — the project team led by Page & Turnbull and contractor Pullman undertook a meticulous renovation effort for the building’s owner, Seagate Properties. The work addressed deterioration of many visible elements and greatly improved the weather resistance of the existing exterior envelope while maintaining its historic wood windows.
“Typical of complex and delicate renovations like this one, our team studied a number of mockups of historic features to test the conservation and rebuilding methods and ensure restoration of its distinguishing aesthetic qualities,” says Gaudreau, who has worked on other notable area landmarks including Sacramento Valley Station, the Leland Stanford Mansion, and Memorial Auditorium. “In all, restored 520 wood windows and replaced 170 decorative anthemions — ornamental leaf clusters — along with repair of 5,000 square feet of simulated stone cement plaster cladding and two 20-foot wooden flagpoles.”
Gaudreau generously credits Pullman, a seasoned expert in these unique trades, for their consistent and high-quality work. The contractor had to complete the project by working in fully occupied spaces and along a street with heavy traffic. “Thanks to Pullman’s strategic phasing schedules and drop plans, they were able to minimize noise disturbances and meet a challenging completion schedule.”
In addition to this major restoration of one of Sacramento’s most historic façade, the owner Seagate has invested in creative office improvements in vacant tenant spaces and other upgrades in the lobby and a new outdoor patio, as well as adding a new conference center, bike storage facility, showers and a fitness center.
Page & Turnbull’s architecture and preservation practice is supported by offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose and Sacramento, where Gaudreau is available as an expert resource in historic rehabilitation. Her team’s project experience includes work at the California State Capitol, Badger Pass Ski Lodge and White Wolf Lodge in Yosemite National Park, the award-winning Leland Stanford Mansion and a Queen Anne-style residence,
and the conversion of the Capitol Park Hotel into affordable housing for the formerly homeless. These projects and her involvement in professional associations have established strong working relationships with federal, state and local government agencies, including the State Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks, and the National Park Service.