We believe that Culture is more important than Commerce.
Operating only in culturally and historically significant areas, we enjoy protecting these treasures and bringing them to the public. The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Preservation are followed in all of the historic buildings that we steward; we work every day to maintain and preserve these buildings and the sacred stories that they contain. The following is a list of the historic properties where we have instituted major restorations and protection plans:
Volcano House Hotel
Our most recent renovation project restored the historic charm and elegance of the Volcano House Hotel at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, on the Big Island of Hawai’i. With an eye to traditional and local customs and traditions, this project has allowed Volcano House to once again welcome guests with true Hawaiian hospitality.
Stow Lake Boathouse
We are excited to be part of this important part of San Francisco history. The boathouse building now incorporates a cafe, and continues the proud tradition of rowboats and pedal boats in the picturesque setting of Golden Gate Park.
Muir Woods National Monument Civilian Conservation Corps Building
We partnered with the National Park Service on a full-scale interior remodel of the historic building. Through our own research, we discovered and reinstalled lost historic doorways, removed non-historic wall coverings and slatwall display units and opened up the historic building for greater aesthetic experience. We also sourced 80 year old redwood tables that we donated for a floor restoration, and we used 100+ year old barn redwood to build furniture, fixtures and wall coverings that are more consistent with the original Park style. Finally, we designed the cafe layout and procedures to reduce cooking and baking which could damage the historic building. We are currently undergoing the LEED EB certification process.
El Rancho Hotel
This “Hotel of the Movie Stars” was abandoned and destined for demolition when the Ortega family purchased it and undertook a historic restoration with a special emphasis on stabilization, restoring the building seal (roof etc.), and returning the dignity of the grand lobby and the historic woodwork (beams, vigas, pillars, stairways). Restoration included the sourcing of numerous “like” materials from the same sources or type used in the 1930’s. Most restoration and construction work took place in stages, allowing visitor services to continue. Recipient of multiple historic awards and recognitions.
Ortega’s On the Plaza
Historic rebuild 1976 (This building was rebuilt to match the original 1880’s structure)
Using archival material and working with historic architects, Mr. Ortega voluntarily replaced the modern building (which a fire destroyed) with a historic re-creation of the two storey building that was here circa 1880’s. Balconies, doorways, windows, and all exterior finishing were rebuilt to their historic measurements and styles. Interiors were based on the likely historic footprint but were adapted for high visitation patterns and modern appliances (HVAC, Restaurant Equipment, etc.) In voluntarily choosing this historic style, Mr. Ortega brought a cornerstone of the Santa Fe Historic District to a permanently higher standard.
White Sands Civilian Conservation Corps Building
We were pleased to gift to the National Park Service a total restoration of the interior of the historic building. Completed in 2007, we removed the pegboard that covered most of the adobe walls and buttresses and restored them to their original state. The vigas and the slatted wood ceiling between were repainted to approximate the original shade. The acoustic tile ceiling in the non-historic addition was replaced with sheet rock and visible steel I- beams were faced with wood to be more in keeping with the historic vigas. The linoleum tile floor in the historic section was transformed by installing Saltillo tile according to the original specifications and finishing it to match the historic floor in the Visitor Center. The same Saltillo tile was carried into the newer addition. An original window in the historic room was revealed. New retail cases were custom made and installed making certain that nothing was attached to the newly restored walls. Finally, we established written and documented preservation procedures based on the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Preservation.
Simply Santa Fe
The foundation of this three level building was laid by Puebloan Indians and then built on using various types of construction throughout many years. There are numerous non-historic and non-documented additions which make preservation difficult.
Oldest House in the USA
The fragile nature of these historic buildings was compounded by previous occupants who installed non-historic equipment and additions that stressed the structures. Besides monitoring areas of stress (restaurant equipment areas, eating areas), special emphasis was on keeping all foot traffic away from walls and historic artifacts. This involved a large amount of educational material and verbal training of staff. Adobe and wood restoration was completed by sourcing only materials from the local area that would have been used in the 1600’s. Materials that would alter the chemistry of the building (cleaning materials, etc.) were avoided except when required for human safety.
This building is no longer under the management of Ortega Family Enterprises.
Bandelier National Monument Civilian Conservation Corps Building
We removed slat panel displays that blocked historic features such as windows, fireplaces, and vigas and also worked with the National Park Service, State of New Mexico, and approved contractors to build ADA required changes from historic “like kind” tufa rock (we had to source a quarry for this material). We restored historically significant plants and gardens. Finally, in establishing written and documented preservation procedures based on the Secretary of Interior Standards for Preservation we created a record of all building features and problem areas (no documentation or plans were available when we took over operations).