Historic Ahwahnee Hotel
Location: Yosemite National Park
Overview: As part of the Remove Barriers Act project, Treeline Construction Inc. was subcontracted to provide selective demolition of historic fabric, rough and architectural finish carpentry, replacement of historic doors and windows, shoring, and structural/architectural concrete for this project.
The project consisted of an expansion of the bar kitchen and new concrete exterior walls to simulate existing with the addition of new exterior concrete double stairway. The interior bar was stripped and reconstructed with new built in place cabinets and
back bar. The concrete for this portion of work involved flawlessly placing walls that closely match the existing board formed hotel exterior walls which stand over 17’ tall with integral new stairways to allow egress from the mezzanine level.
We were tasked with the exposed concrete and woodwork because of our longstanding record of our standard of excellent craftsmanship.
Treeline’s role: Our work on the Ahwahnee has spanned over a thirteen-year period.
Our first project was to perform a structural stabilization upgrading the massive kitchen
Our second project is the East Wing Expansion project as described above.
Our third project was replacing all of the 54 exterior deck log railings in 2019. The existing logs in the deck railing were decomposed to the point of failure. The job involved removal and replacement of the logs railing systems. Treeline, as the prime contractor, self-performed all aspects of this project including removal of the rotting log railing on 2nd through 5th story decks, and replaced with new logs. Since the surrounding historic concrete and granite work could not be affected, a unique system was created by Treeline using spring loaded brass dowels to hold the logs in the existing mortared holes. Treeline utilized man lifts and fall safety systems protocol to safely perform this job.
Overcoming specific difficulties: The existing logs were mortar pointed into the stone columns on one or both ends. The logs had been removed and replaced at least once before, but the previous replacement method did not allow for the logs to be adequately inserted into the stone columns causing a hazardous situation in our opinion.
We designed a system consisting of spring loaded 1” diameter plunge rods that in addition to the inserted log into the stone and concrete columns, when lined up, sprang into a mortised hole in the stone and concrete columns locking the logs into place. The railings were constructed with custom fitted log balusters prior to placement, so the placement of the mortised holes had to be exact for all four log railing ends locked in at the same time.
Treeline has continued to work on various projects at the Ahwahnee through 2023, including, restoration of damaged historic doors, rebuild of storm damaged historic guest cabins (2021), restoration of water damaged plaster in guest rooms (2022), waterproofing of the presidential suite exterior stairways (2022), continued work with the Ahwahnee in leak discovery and abatement, and most recently working on the remodel of the Ahwahnee temporary kitchen project as it too has a historic preservation element (2023).