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Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park Stable Rehabilitation Project
The Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park Stable Rehabilitation Project in Carlsbad is the winner of a 2019 Preservation Design Award for Rehabilitation. Award recipients are selected by a jury of top professionals in the fields of architecture, engineering, planning, and history, as well as renowned architecture critics and journalists. In making their decision the jury noted the importance of maintaining historic sites in urban areas, stating, “this project is charming and quite lovely. It kept the integrity of the landscape as it was originally laid out, but made it more usable. It’s great that it is an accessible historic site within a built up area.”
The Award will be presented on Friday, October 18, 2019 at a gala dinner and awards ceremony at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins in San Francisco. Tickets and sponsorship options are available at californiapreservation.org/awards.
About this project
Located in the Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park, this project created a flexible activity node for educational and recreational functions through the adaptive reuse of a one-of-a-kind historic stable measuring approximately 4,200 square feet. The project reenergizes Leo Carrillo’s most iconic structure to create the park’s largest indoor activity space, including a multipurpose room suitable for events hosting 150 people. Executed in conjunction with a new contextually sensitive restroom building and site improvements, the stable and its outdoor event space are an added resource to the community and a new source of revenue for the City.
The project successfully incorporated code-required structural and accessibility improvements within the multi-level structure with minimum impact on historic character of the building and surroundings. Challenging as-built conditions required a collaborative, iterative design process to maximize the design and minimize impacts on historic fabric. New lighting, power, and audiovisual systems provide for flexible new uses.
Leo Carrillo was a prominent Hollywood film and television actor best known for playing Pancho on the 1950s television series The Cisco Kid. Carrillo played an active role in preserving California’s cultural and natural resources. He served on the California Beach and Parks commission for eighteen years and was a key player in the acquisition of the Hearst Castle, Los Angeles Arboretum, and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
The property was first developed in 1868 as a homestead, part of the larger 13,000-acre Rancho Agua Hedionda, a Mexican land grant given in 1842 by Governor Juan Alvarado to Juan Maria Marron. The rancho passed through many families and eventually to Matthew Kelly, who sold the property to Carrillo in 1938. The original 2-story adobe ranch house was remodeled by Carrillo.
Working with a team of local craftspeople headed by Cruz Mendoza, Carrillo developed his Spanish Rancho between the years 1937 and 1940. The stable, a prominent, vernacular structure sited by Carrillo to take advantage of the rolling topography, is significant for its uncommon multi-level design and use of local materials, including unreinforced stone retaining walls and sun-dried adobe. True to its original construction, the adaptive reuse project seamlessly melds building and landscape improvements to preserve the site’s unique sense of place.
Photos © Page & Turnbull, Greg Stack (Tovey Shultz Construction) & David McMinn and Mirania Cosaert (56th Period Productions)
Mick Calarco, Special Projects and Historic Sites Manager, City of Carlsbad Parks & Recreation Department
Kasia Trojanowska, Parks Planning Manager, City of Carlsbad Parks & Recreation Department
Kyle Lancaster, Public Works Superintendent, City of Carlsbad Parks & Recreation Department
Liz Ketabian, Parks Planning Manager (Retired), City of Carlsbad Parks & Recreation Department
John Lesak, AIA, FAPT, Principal-in-Charge, Page & Turnbull, Inc.
Drew Gorski, AIA, PLA, Project Manager, Page & Turnbull, Inc.
Joy Lyndes, ASLA, Coastal Sage Landscape Architecture
Tim Thiele, PE, Michael Baker International
Michael Krakower, SE, Krakower & Associates Structural Engineers
Roy Morales, Design West Engineering
Mechanical and Plumbing Engineer
Design West Engineering
Scott Ransdell, JR Conkey & Associates
Linda Stansen, Stansen Specifications
Robert Polley, Schneider CM
Greg Stack, Superintendent
Peter Torres, Project Manager
Tovey/Shultz Construction, Inc.
Mark Sauer, Mark Sauer Construction