Salida, Colorado

This image was prepared to depict the general character of downtown Salida, Colorado



Salida, Colorado (illustration by author)


Public School Building Restorations

Historic building elevation restorations

The following images depict several public school building exterior restorations to their original historic facades. These technical drawings were prepared in AutoCAD, utilizing the building’s original blueprints to recreate the historic elements.

McKinley Elementary School - current

McKinley Elementary School – contemporary elevation (illustration by author)

McKinley Elementary School - restoration

McKinley Elementary School – Neoclassical restoration (illustration by author)

washington elementary school

Washington Elementary School – Spanish Colonial restoration (illustration by author)

Inked renderings of urban fabric

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Sketch detail (illustration by author)

The following are a series of freehand inked drawings of urban settings

Most of the following images were prepared for a design development guideline manual for the city of Los Altos, California. They were drawn at various scales and in black & white for ease of reproduce-ability.


Street scene (illustration by author)

village character as-is001

Street scene (illustration by author)

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A Rural Village in Wine Country

Why develop a village?

The existing site, located in the rural wine country of northern California, near the crossroads of Dry Creek Road, Frei Brothers Winery Road, and Lambert Bridge Road.

Aerial of Drycreek Village site

Existing Site’s Aerial Image (photo credit: Google Earth)

The site is anchored by a General Store that had been established in 1881; which currently serves as a tourist gift shop and restaurant.

Drycreek General Store - Heinz Steiner

Dry Creek General Store (photo credit – Heinz Steiner)

The concept was to expand upon the existing historic uses in order to develop a more urbane village located in a semi-rural setting. This would provide housing for winery workers as well as vacation homes for residents of the Bay Area (located some three hours away).

The development of the concept

Drycreek Village - concept sketch

Preliminary Sketch for Village as Italian Hilltown (illustration by author, existing structures are depicted in black, the arroyo with new bridge is pochéd)

The initial development sketches presumed an Italian Hilltown aesthetic, evidenced by the more solid blocks with small internal courtyards.

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Initial Pencil Sketch of New Housing Row (illustration bu author, note focus on new bridge in distance)

Upon further development, the imagery for the new village focused more on the historic Swiss canton to reflect the influences of early Italian-Swiss emigrants to the region, and their influence on the Northern California wine industry. This permitted the concept to open up into a series of interconnected plazas and courtyards, while permitting a wider housing typology range.

Teldeschi Winery - Heinz Steiner

View Across Valley from Top of Site’s Knoll, at the Teldeschi Winery (photo credit: Heinz Steiner, note Dry Creek General Store to the left)

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Preliminary inked sketch of village (illustration by author)

After a period of exploratory sketches and modifications the final village layout began to take form.

Final inked renderings


Inked Rendering of New Residential Row (illustration by author, finalized from pencil sketch)

The image above incorporates more of the Swiss canton architectural elements: stone masonry, tile/slate roofing, exposed timber framing, and wrought iron detailing. This is the final inked rendering based upon an earlier pencil sketch (see above).


Existing Road into New Village (illustration by author, the back of the existing General Store is located to the right in the image along with the preserved mature tree)

This image captures the view towards the top of the hill along this existing street, by terminating the vista with the spire from the new church (anchoring a new public plaza).


View Down Back Street into the New Village Square (illustration by author)

The image above depicts the view down the upper street, looking into the public plaza with the obelisque fountain.

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Birdseye Axonometric Rendering of New Village (illustration by author)

The image shows the entire new village at full build-out. Note the inclusion of a new village public plaza anchored by a new church (and obelisque fountain), the preserved Dry Creek General Store (with a new, small, adjacent motor-lodge), two private internal open-air plazas for residents, and the inclusion of allotment gardens for community members.


A Bridge Too Far

Opening Image

Historic image of Memorial Bridge in Healdsburg, CA during annual river festival (photo credit: Historical archives)

What role can a urban designer have in preserving history?

In the early 2000’s, the City of Healdsburg, California took over ownership of its one bridge across the Russian River from the California Department of Transportation. Almost immediately there was a call from a number of local groups to tear the bridge down over its presumed obsolescence and structural insufficiency. At the same time there were calls to preserve the bridge, since it had been such an important landmark throughout the history of the town.

Second Image

Healdsburg Memorial Bridge (photo credit: Historical archives, image of bridge just after opening in 1921)


The existing bridge is located at the eastern end of Healdsburg Avenue, at the edge of town, and had for years served as the town’s primary connection to Highway 101. The image below shows the relative proximity to the town and it’s sole connection to Memorial Park.

Existing Bridge Conditions

Healdsburg Memorial Bridge – existing conditions (illustration by author)


The image below depicts a SketchUp model of the bridge, as viewed from the perspective of Memorial Park.

Existing Conditions - SketchUp Model

SketchUp Model of Healdsburg Memorial Bridge (illustration by author and Carlos Rojas)


The engineering consultant hired by the city took the CalDOT evaluation of the bridge’s condition (at that time not knowing what that the report was in error), and developed two separate scenarios which were being considered as potential preferred alternatives. Both proposals indicated that the designs’ visual impact would be minimal. Unfortunately, the engineering consultant had only presented plans and elevations of their proposals for the public to evaluate and determine whether they would concur with their assessment.

The engineering consultants proposals

The following images are recreations of the proposals made by the engineering consultant, but paired with their three dimensional impact — as seen from the vantage point of Memorial Park (from the same perspective of the SketchUp model depicted above).

Preferred Alternative A

Transportation Department's Preferred Alternative A

Engineering consultant’s Preferred Alternative A (illustration by author)

Preferred Alternative A - SketchUp Model

Preferred Alternative A — visual impact from Memorial Park (illustration by author and Carlos Rojas)


Preferred Alternative B

Transportation Department's Preferred Alternative B

Engineering consultant’s Preferred Alternative B – with s-curve to preserve existing road alignments (illustration by author)

Preferred Alternative B - SketchUp Model

Preferred Alternative B – visual impact from Memorial Park (illustration by author and Carlos Rojas)

Rehabilitation as cost-saving alternative

Working with interested preservation groups, which included a retired structural engineer, it was determined that the original CalDOT structural assessment of the bridge was in error. The bridge, despite needing some minor structural repairs and seismic upgrades, had never presented a danger to the public or heavy vehicular traffic. What was needed was a set of images that would evoke the fond memories of the bridge, the town’s historic ties to the Russian River, and a convincing (cost effective) argument for preservation.

Rehabilitated Bridge proposal

Healdsburg Memorial Bridge – a preservation alternative with a river walk improvements (illustration by author)


The following hand sketches were prepared with using the SketchUp model as an underlay, with ink and colored pencil & marker final illustrations.

mem bridge color002

Healdsburg Memorial Bridge Preservation – west embankment showing new pedestrian underpass (illustration by author)

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Healdsburg Memorial Bridge Preservation – perspective sketch of new west embankment (illustration by author)


This illustrative exercise served to rally a unique blend of preservationists and fiscal conservatives, Friends of the Healdsburg Memorial Bridge. The old CalDOT rating was set aside, the bridge was added to the Historic Registry, a significant preservation grant was awarded, and the bridge is now being rehabilitated in situ.

A Farmworker Village in Sonoma County

Blue Cards

Farmworkers in California (photo credit: Farmworker Justice

Illustrative images for a Farmworker Village

The following images were prepared by the author, and a design team of architects and developers, as part of a USDA-funded effort to develop an affordable housing complex for farmworkers in Sonoma County, California near the town of Healdsburg. This project was pursued to provide a higher level of housing for semi-migratory farmworkers, and was specifically conceived as a multi-generational development. Two specific sites were investigated, one that would afford a larger area for gardens and playfields — while the other was a smaller, in town, site that would have a higher density with three-story units.

The floor plans and architectural elevations were prepared using AutoCAD to prepare a set of rough dimensions; which were used as an underlay to a set of final inked hand sketches.

Site One

Farworker Village – Site One edge-of-town (illustration by Richard Terrones of DTA)

Site Two

Farmworker Village – Site Two in-town (illustration by Richard Terrones of DTA)

Farmworker Village B

Farmworker Village – housing first floor plan (illustration by author and Jake Furlong)

Farmworker Village C

Farmworker Village – housing second floor plan (illustration by author and Jake Furlong)


The following elevations were prepared to depict a set of architectural finishes consistent with Sonoma County’s Spanish Colonial architectural heritage.

Farmworker Village D

Farmworker Village – two-story exterior elevation (illustration by author)

Farmworker Village E

Farmworker Village – three-story exterior elevation (illustration by author)


These elevations were prepared to show how the floor plans’ could support and an alternate set of architectural finishes consistent with a Craftsman Style.

Farmworker Village F

Farmworker Village – two-story alternative exterior elevation (illustration by author)

Farmworker Village G

Farmworker Village – three-story alternative exterior elevation (illustration by author)