P. O. Box 1327, San Jose, CA 95109-1327

A 501(c)3 Nonprofit Charitable Organization Founded in 2003

A 501(c)3 Nonprofit Charitable Organization Founded in 2003

A 501(c)3 Nonprofit Charitable Organization Founded in 2003A 501(c)3 Nonprofit Charitable Organization Founded in 2003


March 31, 2020

The  Sainte Claire Historic Preservation Foundation has begun the planning  process for the next of its priority projects, the repair and  replacement of the roof of  the 127 year old Sainte Claire Club building.


A  preliminary survey has been commissioned to determine the extent to  which asbestos and/or lead may be encountered in the roof replacement  process. Given the age  of the building, it would be surprising if this were not an issue, and  the presence of either or both may significantly affect the scope of the  intended work and hence the ultimate bids for the project. Whether any  rectification could be accomplished by a  primary contractor or would require the services of a dedicated  hazardous materials sub-contractor would depend on the extent of the  clean-up that proved necessary.


The  preliminary survey indicates that the existence of both lead and  asbestos is probably relatively minor and can most likely be dealt with  by the primary contractor.  The Foundation is currently awaiting bids from a number of prospective  contractors, all of which have been initially vetted to satisfy the  Foundation Board that they are capable of undertaking such a project on  an historic building. A major consideration is  the extent to which the existing terra cotta tiles of the roof can be  salvaged and re-used. The more tiles that can be saved, the more can be  re-used, thus lowering the cost of the project. A certain amount of  breakage is inevitable with tiles over 100 years  old, but keeping that loss  to a minimum through the care and attention  of a skilled contractor would be of major importance. As to those tiles  that are not capable of being re-installed, we are advised that  matching tiles can almost certainly be obtained  and that, should they vary slightly, they can be used in "blocks" on  various portions of the roof so that variations are not readily visible.


Three  things will determine whether this project can be accomplished during  the 2020 dry season. First and foremost, the Foundation is having  difficulty at present  getting bids from roofing contractors due to the slowing or shutdown of  their businesses as a result of the the COVID-19 virus. Second,  assuming bids can be secured in a timely fashion, there is reason to  conclude that there will be a shortfall between a likely  bid range and the funds presently available to the Foundation. Assuming  funds are sufficient, there is the practical issue of timing, i.e.,  whether a successful bid can be obtained, the contract let and the work  brought to completion by the end of September,  before the onset of the next rainy season. The project itself would  take ten to twelve weeks once begun, so we have until approximately the  beginning of July to solicit bids, let the contract and get the project  permitted and under way. The second of the considerations,  that of funding, may well be the ultimate determinant of whether this  job can get done this year. We anticipate that the project will cost at  least $170,000, which is somewhat more than the Foundation presently has  available. 


As  one might expect, donations to the Foundation have slowed to some  extent as we enter a new tax year and prospective contributors assess  their ability to participate,  especially in what has become a very challenging economic environment thanks to  the effects of COVID-19. Nonetheless, additional donations will very  likely  determine whether or not we can bring the roof project to fruition this  year. The precise amount of the shortfall cannot be determined until  contractors are able to provide a definitive bid.


 The  Foundation Board very much hopes the expected shortfall will be met by  further generous tax-deductible donations of the kind the Foundation has  been favored  with over the past eighteen months. Great progress has already been  made, as evidenced by the striking refinish and repaint of the Sainte  Claire Club building and the much-improved landscaping of the grounds,  but it is an ongoing process, largely dependent  on the interest and generosity of Club members and non-members alike.  Your gift to help us get over the top would, as always, be very much  appreciated, and we hope the roofers (and everyone else) can get back to  work very soon , enabling the Foundation to  make this project a reality. 


The Donation page on the Foundation's website is up and running.  Donations can be made that way, using a PayPal  account, which is linked to the Foundation's trust account, or by mail   to SCHPF, P.O. Box 1327, San Jose, CA, 95109-1327.


Many thanks for your interest, and for your steadfast and generous support.

November 1, 2019

At  its meeting of August 22, the Foundation Board of Directors welcomed   Rick Slater, previously its advisor on construction issues, to the   Board, following the death of much-mourned Foundation Vice-President  Lou  Tersini on May 22. We are extremely pleased that Mr. Slater has  agreed to serve. His counsel, as well as his  contributions in kind to  the Foundation, have already been of great  assistance.

The  Foundation's first priority project since its revivification last   year, that of refinishing and repainting the exterior of the Sainte   Claire Club building, is now complete. We very much hope that Sainte   Claire Club members are pleased with the result. The new color scheme  incorporates some changes from that of the past quarter  century. Though  the body color of the building is only slightly  altered, the color  that forms a band around the base of the building and  delineates window  sills and the wall along the sidewalk on the Second Street frontage has  been changed from a neutral  dark grey to a rich, warm milk chocolate  brown. In addition, all of the  building's window frames and the coffers  of the ceilings over the front  and rear entrances have been painted in  a muted satin burgundy which strikingly emphasizes these architectural   details. Finally, the front balcony rail as well as the faux balconies   on the east and west sides are picked out in satin black, complementing   the wrought iron of the massive lanterns at the front entry and the  fencing that surrounds the entire property. All  these changes were  coordinated with and approved by Sainte Claire Club  President Jim  Nielsen during the planning stages.

The  Foundation singles out for special mention HPF Board member John   Frolli, AIA, an extremely skilled architect specializing in the   restoration and maintenance of historic buildings. The Foundation is   very lucky to have Mr. Frolli as a member of the Board, and he has  devoted many hours to the selection of the new color scheme,  as the  Board has considered at least four schemes and their various   permutations, in order to show SCC's beautiful Mission Revival-style    building to its best advantage, while carefully adhering to the  aesthetic standards imposed by the building's status as  an historic  landmark in the National Register of Historic Places. Mr.  Frolli has  performed yeoman service in this regard, well beyond any  voluntary  "call of duty", and he is owed a vote of thanks not only by the  Foundation's Board but by Sainte Claire Club  members as well.

The  Board also extends its thanks to Burdick Painting, Inc., our  painting  contractor, and specifically Eric Pauly and John Cintas not  only for  the self-evident excellence of their work but also for their cooperation  and patience  during the preliminary stages of this project, as we  hashed out the  details of color schemes and technique, which might have  deterred a less  committed contractor. Among other things, they went to  considerable lengths to provide computerized simulations of  several  color schemes to enable the Board to visualize on screen the   anticipated end result, and carried out four test patches on the   building itself. Much of this took place while preparatory scraping,  patching and filling was under way on the stucco so as not to  lose time  as the rainy season approached.

Our   greatest vote of thanks, however, must go to the many generous donors   whose outstanding generosity has made the undertaking of this major   project possible. It is to them that the Foundation Board dedicates the  handsome and reinvigorated  result of their largesse, the  newly-invigorated Sainte Claire Club  building itself. Many thanks to  all donors for their interest and  commitment.

The   Foundation's next priority project is the repair and replacement of  the  roof of the Sainte Claire Club, when and as further funds become   available to supplement those now remaining in the Foundation's trust  account. Planning is under way  in anticipation.