VASQUEZ ROCKS NATURE AREA IMPROVEMENTS
Interpretive Center and Ranger’s Residence Historic Restoration and Adaptive Reuse
Agua Dulce, CA

Client: County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works
Rangers Residence: $350,000 - Restoration
Interpretive Center: $4,800,000 - New Construction
Completion: 2012
LEED®-NC Certification Platinum (Interpretive Center)

The Ranger’s Residence was constructed during the Depression era, using materials from movie sets

The Interpretive Center that provides an opportunity for park users to understand and appreciate this unique resource

Gruen Associates was the Design Architect and Landscape Architect for the $4.6 million, 4,000-SF Design-Build interpretive center. IBI Group was the Architects for the Scoping Documents, Design Criteria and Performance Specification for the Design/Build Interpretive Center, our responsibilities included the management of the entire project.

The program was consolidated into a single structure including 2,970 SF of exhibit space/museum, a multi-purpose classroom, staff office, storage and support spaces. The informative visitor-experience venue focuses on the geographic surroundings and wildlife within the park.

Vasquez Rocks Nature Area Improvements

Vasquez Rocks, located in the high desert near Agua Dulce Springs, features 932 acres of spectacular rock formations, Tataviam Indian sites, and a seasonal stream. The rocks’ history began in prehistoric times when the sandstone rocks were uplifted at a picturesque angle, showing their jagged red features. In 1874 Tiburcio Vasquez, one of California’s most notorious bandits, used these rocks to elude capture by law enforcement. His name has since been associated with this geologic feature. The park is a popular hiking, picnicking, and equestrian area and has been used in many hit movies, television shows and commercials
The project site of 4.2 acre includes an Interpretive Center that provides an opportunity for park users to understand and appreciate this unique resource. As Architects for the Scoping Documents, Design Criteria and Performance Specification for the Design/Build Interpretive Center, our responsibilities included the management of the entire project. We were also responsible for full design services for the Ranger’s Residence Historic Restoration and Adaptive Reuse.

The Ranger’s Residence, a vernacular style building constructed circa 1933 to 1938, located on land homesteaded in 1919 by William H. Kreig, the Ranger’s Residence was constructed during the Depression era by Kreig’s nephew, Ray Alvin Toney, and Toney’s son, Edward A. Toney, using materials from movie sets that were abandoned by film crews using the Natural Area Park. The house, a one-story, hip-roofed, 1,044 SF dwelling clad in wood siding above a brick base and its associated detached, hip-roofed garage reflect vernacular traditions in residential design.

The property also includes stone pillars marking the entry, a stone-wall, and various nonnative ornamental trees and shrubs, as well as more recent, nonsignificant improvements. Although the front porch was enclosed and some finishes on the interior were modified, the house retains substantial integrity to the period of its construction. The property remained in the ownership of the Toney family until it was sold to the County of Los Angeles in 1967 for inclusion in the Natural Area Park. The Ranger’s Residence is currently used as an office building for the park.

Role
Historical Research, Project Coordinator, Construction Administrator
For
County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works
Date
Completion 2012
Type
Civic / Institution
URL
parks.lacounty.gov/wps/portal/dpr/Parks/Vasquez_Rocks_Natural_Area