PORTFOLIOS 
1906 Territorial 
Owl's Club 
County Courthouse 
St Thomas Church 
De Concini Bldg 
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Private Residence 
Christie's Auction 
Cher Residence 
Wooley Residence 
Bisbee High School 
Micek Residence 
Miller Residence 
Lancashire Res 
Mozart Residence 
Assenmacher Res 
Weintraub Res 

 

 

 

Owls Club (circa 1902)
"Tucson, Arizona"

Tucson Owl's Club 1902
BEFORE:
Owl's Club 1986

In 1986, Robert Boucher was asked to assist in the restoration of Henry Trost's owl's club in Tucson, Arizona. Originally a club for Tucson bachelors (the early movers and shakers of territorial Tucson), it had once sported one of the most intricate facades in the Southwest, resplendent with a riot of geometric ornament, celtic weaves, abstract murals of native plants and an owl in the port hole as mascot of the club. The original facade had been cast in plaster, and by 1986 the building was a wreck, gutted, and stripped of its facade and balconies.

 1986 photo of the Owls Club in Tucson Arizona

 

Historic Photo of the Owls Club

A search throughout the historical societies of Arizona and Texas yielded photographs of the original building and its facade. From this information Robert Boucher was able to rectify the perspective of the photos in order to recreate the patterns of the facade in exact scale. These patterns, depending on their sculptural nature, were either carved in wood, plaster, turned on a massive lathe or modeled in wax or plastilina. After mold making, they were cast in calcium silica aluminate, an ancient casting stone once used by the ancient Egyptians, chosen for its extreme durability and fidelity to detail. Finally, the casts were patinaed by hand.

 

AFTER:
Owl's Club 1987
Side by Side comparison
The recreated facade was completed in 1987.
In the same year, Robert Boucher was the recipient of the
Arizona Governor's Award for Historic Preservation.

 

OWL'S CLUB BAY WINDOW

 


1986


1987

 

 OWL'S CLUB RENOVATION


The plaster that had covered port holes and the balcony
is being scaled off to reveal the details of the original facade
mounting points and dimensions. 

 

 RECREATION PROCESS

Meanwhile, the original glass plate negatives found in the historical society are made into high contrast slides which are rectified to correct forshortened prospective and then broken into quadrants that represent specific areas on the building. These slides are then projected onto an actual scale map of the facade upon an easel in order to facilitate scaling and sketching of the representative components in the facade.

 

CREATING THE CELTIC WEAVING IN THE SPANDRELS
SURROUNDING THE PORT HOLE

 

Portion of original glass plate negative

Detail of the spandrel pattern carved in MDF and awaiting mold-making

 

 

 RECREATION OF THE SULLIVANESQUE TILES CLADDING THE BALCONY & THE BASE OF THE BAY WINDOW


The original tile from the bay window is determined through the photograph to be identical to the missing tiles that had veneered the balcony at the facade. Although no longer appropriate to restoration, the existing plaster of paris tile is used as a basis to corroborate scale from the photos and serve as a model for a new pattern sculpted in plastilina and MDF.


 


Corner detail of the original tile 


Corner detail of the recreated pattern

 

The recreated pattern awaiting mold-making.

 

CREATING THE COLUMN PATTERNS ON A TURN OF THE CENTURY PATTERN MAKERS LATHE

 

Preparing the mahogany lamination for turning in the lathe


Finished column base  

COLUMN AND MURAL DETAILS
WITH PLASTILINA MODELING APPLIED

 

 



 

 

 

ADDITIONAL PATTERNS

 

 


Arch Molding


Desert Corinthian

 

 


Sullivanesque tile

 

 


Laminating the urethane mold


Finial base

 

 

FINIS 1987

 

 

CREDITS:
DON COX, ARTIST/SCULPTOR
TODD HOYER, LATHE TURNER
BILL BENNINATI, MASON/INSTALLATION
COLLIER CRAFT, ARCHITECTS