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Las Flores ranch house restored
The front façade of the ranch house
as it appears after stabilization

Las Flores in 1913
The ranch complex as it appeared in 1913,
just prior to a flood (1916) and earthquake (1918)
that resulted in extensive remodeling.

shelburne farms

 conservation at Las Flores
Students and staff participated in restoration of historic millwork; the project was utilized as a training program for NPS staff as well.

The Las Flores Adobe is a National Historic Landmark site on Camp Pendleton, near Oceanside, CA. The stabilization and restoration effort at the site is a multi-year project conducted in cooperation with the United States Marine Corps (which has stewardship responsibility for the site) and the National Park Service.

Beginning in 2002, staff, student interns, and recent graduates of the Historic Preservation program have been involved in emergency stabilization of the buildings, installation of seismic retrofits, adobe repairs, completion of a paint study, development of a construction chronology based on fabric and documentary evidence, conservation of period millwork, structural and seismic stabilization of the Carriage House, and introduction of compensating traditional lime and earthen plasters. During this project, the Park Service and the University began initial work on development of earthen grouts for retrofit installation.

The project has become a model for seismic stabilization of historic adobe buildings, and has created opportunities for publication and participation in international conferences on earthen architecture, including the Getty Seismic Adobe Colloquium in Los Angeles in 2006.

In the 2007-2008 season the School of Engineering engaged in investigation of construction chronology at the north end of the compound, conservation of traditional earthen and lime plasters and finishes as well as conservation and repair of period woodwork. Students from the Historic Preservation Program and the School of Engineering partcipated in this field school activity.


Project Highlights

adobe plaster wall
Drilling of the adobe walls for installation of seismic retrofit elements. Retrofit design was based on guidelines developed by the Getty Seismic adobe Project (GSAP).



To find out more about current projects or future field study opportunities, please contact:

Douglas Porter
School of Engineering
University of Vermont
341 Votey Hall
33 Colchester Ave.
Burlington, VT 05405-0156
(802) 656-4027 or
(802) 497-0689

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