Urth Caffe

The Urth Caffe is the winner of a 2020 Preservation Design Award for Restoration. Award recipients are selected by a jury of top professionals in the fields of architecture, engineering, planning, and history, as well as renowned architecture critics and journalists. The Award will be presented on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at an online awards ceremony. Tickets and sponsorship options are available at californiapreservation.org/awards.

About this project

The two-story brick and wood-framed building was originally constructed as a smaller one-story building in 1888 and widened and a 2nd floor added in 1907. Subsequent alterations resulted in the loss of significant integrity, covering the exterior with plaster, loss of the original storefronts and replacement with inappropriate windows. The building was purchased to adaptively reuse it as a café and restaurant. The new owner’s goals were to restore it to its original Italian Revival character that was long lost. Historic research and exploratory investigation were performed to ensure the accuracy of the restoration. The building’s exterior façade was completely restored to the period of significance. A steel moment frame was inserted to allow for the full height ground floor storefronts to be restored. New period compatible interior improvements included a restaurant and café on the first floor with restaurant support spaces and offices on the second floor.