Page 26 - Delta Living Magazine_july-sept2013

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July – September 2013
Saving the
John Marsh
Part II
By Gene Metz, AIA
f you recall from the April,
2013 issue of Delta Living
Magazine, the Marsh House was
built in 1856 by Dr. John Marsh
in the Brentwood area of Contra
Costa County.The House – a His-
toric Landmark – is in danger of
collapse due to the failure of the
exterior wall assembly that consists
of a wythe of stone on the outside,
and a separate wythe of brick with
a plaster finish on the inside.
An earthquake in the 1970's
caused the collapse of the south
wall. The south wall was rebuilt
with a steel stud framing system
covered in stucco to provide a
New temporary exterior protective stucco finish at south wall
Collapsed original stone work at south wall
barrier from the elements until a
matching stone exterior can be
Rebuilding the wall provided
hints for the ultimate approach
to save the remaining walls. To
stabilize the rest of the building,
steel pipe columns on concrete
pads were installed approximately
10 feet on center throughout the
House from grade to third floor
framing. Cross bracing and ad-
justable inserts were installed to
relieve the weight of floor fram-
ing from the existing load bear-
ing walls.This stabilizing system is
temporary and ultimately will be
After close inspection, the inte-
rior wythe of bricks in the other