Rancho Santa Fe Association and Foundation to split cost of Osuna Adobe structural repairs


By Karen Billing

The Rancho Santa Fe Association and the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation will share the $24,720 cost of repairing structural damage on the Osuna Adobe. The Association board approved the expenditure at its Oct. 4 meeting.

Kirk Dakan, senior planner, said the damage on the adobe was discovered during the summer when the $55,000 concrete stucco removal and adobe resurfacing project was underway.

“The stucco came off very easily and revealed a lot about the history of the building, however, it also revealed that the adobe had some structural problems,” said Dakan of the rotted wood of the “lintels,” the load-bearing component above the windows and doors.

Dakan said that the wood is in such bad shape that “you can literally poke a finger into the rotted wood.”

The refinishing project is complete on some sides of the adobe, but has been held up on the west side until the repairs are made. The Osuna Committee made the request to the Association for the funds to make the repairs.

The Association received two bids and Dakan admitted to being a little surprised at the cost, but the high cost is attributed to the complicated nature of repairing lintels in an adobe structure.

“I’ve seen it and I’m amazed it can be fixed for $24,000,” said director Anne Feighner, who said the work is crucial to save the adobe.

The contractor awarded the bid is Mark Sauer Construction, which specializes in historic adobe restoration and has been working on the adobe resurfacing and stucco removal.

Director Larry Spitcaufksy noted that while the finance committee approved the expenditure, the committee was reluctant to do so without a long-term plan in place for the Osuna property.

Director Ann Boon agreed with that logic, saying that the Association needs to be careful that the adobe doesn’t turn into a “money pit” and that the Osuna Committee should revise its numbers for the projected cost of the renovation.

“I hope they don’t ask us for more money until somebody comes to us with an overall plan,” Boon said.