Matthew Thompson Amid the Rubble

The task of designing the Sentinel Building renovation went to Matthew Thompson, one of Santa Cruz’s most talented and influential architects.

His approach — preserving the brawny beauty of the mid-century modern building while upgrading its function — won the job for his firm.

Here is Matthew dashing through demolished concrete:


And here he is close up:


Boom! Walls come down at the New Sentinel Building

The demolition is happening fast at the New Sentinel building. That means lots of smashing and crashing. We’re opening up windows and doors to let light into the once-dour printing plant. Today Shane called us over to watch some walls fall down — doorways will replace them.

These are 50-year-old 6″ thick concrete walls full of rebar that have been cut straight through, carefully prepped, and today got pushed over with a tremendous bang!
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Before and After Shots: New Windows at the New Sentinel

We start with a manufacturing building in downtown Santa Cruz. Our plan: to recycle and re-use the building for a couple of local organizations (Cruzio and Ecology Action). That means making the building people-friendly. Step one: it’s dark and gloomy inside. We need more windows and doors!

The original parking lot face of the building (notice, no downstairs windows at all):


Here’s what’s happening to that wall (that’s Shane standing in the foreground):
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The Fiber Cut — One Year On…

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of the fiber-optic cable cut that left much of Santa Cruz in the dark for more than 24 hours. (Otherwise known as The Great Internet Outage of 2009.) In our debriefing meetings at Cruzio in the days and weeks following the incident we discussed what happened, why it had the impact that it did, and how to make sure it didn’t happen again.

So what did happen?
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New Sentinel Groundbreaking Ceremony

Cruzio celebrated the beginning of construction (re-construction?) of the Sentinel Building this morning. Our partners in the building, Ecology Action and Joe Appenrodt, were a part of the festivities and the community joined us too! About 50 guests were there, by our count.

Many local luminaries were in attendance, such as Cynthia Matthews, Neal Coonerty, Chip, Katherine Beiers, Ron Slack, Fred Keeley and many more. Yes, we are name-dropping: we were so impressed with the illustrious turnout.
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