County of Napa Carithers Building

The historic Carithers building was damaged during the 6.0 earthquake that struck Napa on August 24, 2014. This building is home to the County of Napa’s District Attorney, Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk, Public Defender, Child Support Services, and Comprehensive Services for Older Adults. Facilities by Design was engaged to reconstruct 3 floors of the building. Because the original office design plans were long gone, we were tasked with recreating the design based on what was left. This involved sifting through debris and furniture that had been moved offsite in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake as well as interviewing employees. We had to replace a great deal of original furniture due to its age and condition. Much of the restoration was covered by FEMA insurance. However, the county did pay for some upgrades and modifications such as a large built-in reception counter, system furniture that could be changed over time, and increased office space.

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Carithers Building, Napa, CA

Project Facts

Historic building damaged in 6.0 earthquake. Much of the approximately 40-year-old furniture had to be replaced due to the extensive damage.

Paula's Project Thoughts...

Restoring three floors of a historic building was a challenge in that the original designs were nonexistent. We had to recreate the design based on what we could see — and that was damaged walls and water-damaged items, many of which were stored offsite.

Plus, a lot of the furniture hadn’t been replaced in 40-something years and simply wasn’t available anymore. We had to balance insurance constraints with county-specified upgrades, all while staying true to the character of the building.

Paula Stabler

Principle, Facilities By Design