WINERIES  The Old New Winery

Brown Estate Winery has the sound of an established, time-honored landmark. Which it is, except that it's never been a winery and the building, which is over 150 years old, is still in the process of being restored and remodeled into a wine producing facility while it is already crushing grapes for this year's harvest.

Brown Estate Winery as it looked before Cary & Associates Builders, Inc. began its restoration and crush facility, located behind the structure.

Brown Estate Winery as it looked before Cary & Associates Builders, Inc. began its restoration and crush facility, located behind the structure.

It's not as confusing as it sounds. Brown Estate Winery is part of a historic landmark located near Lake Hennessey in Napa County. "The Winery building looks like it could have been a hayloft, it has shackles and an outrigger outside. Downstairs looks like it may have been a servants or workers quarters," speculates Corey Cleland, Project Manager for Cary & Associates Builders, Inc., the general contractor.

The actual Brown Estate, circa 1859, consists of a residence where the current owners live and the soon-to-be winery building. The Napa Historical Society has provided the guidelines for Cary & Associates Builders, Inc. as they restore the building while maintaining its integrity. The original two-story structure consists of post and beam construction with doweling used for fasteners. The downstairs cobblestone walls are being reinforced with metal bolts and plates. The original upstairs floor was removed and replaced by 4 metal I-beam frames and a light weight cement floor that will support the fermentation tanks when they are moved up there. "About half of the upstairs redwood walls are crumbling apart. So the useable original redwood will make up the two walls visible as you enter the property. The two walls on the backside of the building will get new redwood boards that will be allowed to weather for a couple of years before applying a sealant," explains Cleland.

The backside of the building is where the crush pad is situated. Remember that while the restoration is under way so is this year's grape harvest. "We have 4 power stanchions , products from Knights' Electric, that are used to power all of the winery equipment, crushers, pumps, presses, etc. The power stanchions helped us set up our power where we need it to crush grapes," says Cleland. Knights' Electric has also installed the temperature controls for the tanks and solenoids for the glycol. About half of the winery is running off a generator. Knights' Electric will be installing the new 600-amp service that powers the winery and the house.

All in all, the entire crush has gone smoothly. When next year's crush takes place, after the restoration is complete, it will look like it's been running smoothly for over 150 years.

COMMERCIAL   Healdsburg Square's Serifem Building

Over the years, the Downtown Square in Healdsburg has taken on a rather sophisticated look to go along with its historic and traditional roots. The Serifem Building will add an element of sophistication that blends well with its traditional surroundings.

Located on the southeast corner of the Square at Center and Matheson, the Serifem Building is a three story commercial building designed by architect Alan B. Cohen of ABCAIA in Santa Rosa and built by general contractor Gary F. Rea & Associates, Inc., also from Santa Rosa.

The Serifem Building, now under construction at the southeast corner of the Square in Healdsburg, will look like this upon its completion.

The Serifem Building, now under construction at the southeast corner
of the Square in Healdsburg, will look like this upon its completion.

Jerry Deakins, Project Manager for Geary F. Rea & Associates, Inc., sees the challenges and potential of the project, "This is a really tight area to work in?we don't have any land to stage construction from because the building takes up the entire lot. We have to store our materials inside the structure and outside we have a busy street with a lot of foot traffic and parked cars. We bring in building materials through the windows upstairs for that floor and keep building up. On each floor we have to contend with the elevator shaft hole, but that will soon be completed."

The new construction is founded by 19 concrete caissons, 2 feet in diameter, poured 32 feet into the ground with 4 additional piers poured down 36 feet to anchor the cement slab. "This D-4 infill foundation was popular in the '50's, it's used for earthquake stability, as is the steel moment frame we are using."

The exterior design will feature a color scheme of multi-color painted stucco, bay windows, overhangs, balconies and copper flashing. "The neighboring buildings are from the 1920's and older, the Serifem Building will compliment this environment," explains Deakins.

Deakins is working closely with Mike Goodfellow, of Knights' Commercial Department . Knights' Electric has supplied all the power and lighting to the "vanilla shell", plus outlets for HVAC, phone/cable, fire alarm and fire sprinkler system. Geary F. Rea & Associates, Inc. is also working with Knights' Electric on another construction project at Royal Petroleum in Santa Rosa.

The next phase of construction for the Serifem Building will be tenant improvements. The Serifem Building already has tenants signed up to occupy all three floors upon completion.

RESIDENTIAL   Robert Pennypacker's
                           Residential Theme

If you were an architect, building your new home, and you had ten years of experience as a theme park designer, wouldn't you be tempted to?"well, maybe because of my theme park background I have designed this swimming pool that has a few waterfalls," says Robert Pennypacker, who was also the contractor for his house on Fitch Mountain in Healdsburg. "Are you familiar with carved Gunite?" asks Pennypacker, "The Gunite is shaped into boulders or rocks that are used for the walls of the swimming pool, which is built into the side of the hill behind the house."

Ambient lighting is an integral element of the living room design in architect Robert Pennypacker?s home on Fitch Mountain in Healdsburg.

Ambient lighting is an integral element of the living room design in architect Robert Pennypacker's home on Fitch Mountain in Healdsburg.

Pennypacker spent 13 years as an architect for Bechtel, where he worked for 4 years as architect on a design team for Disney World in Florida. He also worked for 5 years at Universal Studios. One of his projects was the Toon Lagoon in Florida; theme rides that included Bluto's Raft Ride and Ripsaw Falls, featuring Dudley Dooright and friends.

"Houses are my real passion," admits Pennypacker. He previously designed and built a 3-story, 1800 square foot vacation home in Lucerne on Clear Lake. Now he is making the move from his previous residence in San Francisco to his new 2800 square foot home on Fitch Mountain in Sonoma County. This home has a view of Alexander Valley and Pennypacker's office is located upstairs.

Lighting is an important element in the interior design of the home. "A neighbor, who built here, recommended Knights' Electric. I got three bids that were similar and I'm really glad I chose Knights'. They were my best sub. I had a lighting plan but couldn't identify the fixtures I needed. For instance, I wanted a lighting effect for the kitchen counter that wouldn't reveal the lights. Knights' used a Track 12 with small lights 3 inches apart that worked perfectly. This isn't a super high-end installation here, but you wouldn't know it from seeing the results. Matt Sweeney was great to work with and the results were great. He was very concerned about neatness - how many contractors take off their shoes when they enter a home? He also put a tarp under his ladder, you just don't see that any more."

Now that Pennypacker has moved to Sonoma County, what's next? "I'm in the process of designing a 4200 square foot house. It's located in Glen Ellen up on Cavedale Road. You can see the uprights on the Golden Gate Bridge from there."