De Anza Sunken Garden Balustrade

Client: Foothill Community College District
Cupertino, California

Background and Issue

The De Anza Community College Campus was built on the historic Baldwin estate in Cupertino. The Baldwin Estate was developed by Charles Baldwin and became one of the great wine producing estates of the area. The house was designed after Marie Antoinette’s Le Grand Trianon at Versailles and was called Le Petit Trianon.  To the south of the house was a formal sunken garden with a reflecting pool surrounded by retaining walls topped with a classical balustrade. When the college campus was built, the house was moved from the north to the west side of the sunken garden. The garden was retained, although somewhat altered by the addition of a modern fountain and other modern elements. The retaining walls, balustrade, stairs and a few decorative elements remain.

Solution

As part of a comprehensive campus wide site improvements project, the vines which were engulfing much of the historic balustrade were removed. We provided specifications for the protection of the balustrade, and visited the site during construction to review the protection measures. After the vines where removed, we did a detailed assessment of each section of the balustrade and compiled a report outlining our recommendations for repair of damaged sections.  We provided specifications and drawings for repair of the most deteriorated sections of the balustrade.

Completed while at Architectural Resources Group