Sunday, September 20, 2009

on the verge

We are on the verge of something. This past week the Napa County Planning Commission unanimously approved and recommended to the Board of Supervisors that a zoning text amendment be adopted that will allow the restoration of the historic Franco-Swiss Winery (Crochat Winery) - a unique stone gravity flow "Ghost Winery". The picture above is one of the old hoppers used when the winery was converted to a perlite manufacturing plant. Unfortunately, many of the upper floor joists were removed to allow for the hoppers, furnaces and conveyors used in perlite production. As a result, the exterior stone walls are unbraced in many locations.

Here's another section of roof about to collapse. The concrete patch on the left is one of the many areas with joists removed.

On the north side of the building this intriguing red door remains, although the steps and landing are long gone. Notice the finely cut stone surrounding the door opening. Quoins at the corners of the building are equally well fashioned. The rougher rubble stone originally had a plaster finish.

Commissioners had a wonderful tour of the winery and barn buildings, on the verge of ... restoration? demolition? collapse? We shall see in a few more weeks.

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John Poole said...

Hi Cousin Juliana - Hope the amendment is adopted and the winery can be restored. Once a place like that is gone, it's gone forever. And I really enjoyed all of your pictures...thanks for posting them! ~Cousin John

juliana inman said...

Thanks, Cousin! We all have our fingers crossed. The building is on our Napa County Landmarks "Ten most threatened" list. We hope to have a hearing in October and get to work on it before the rains set in! There will be major shoring just to make the work area safe.