Francis House

Calistoga, CA

Richard Dwyer


Richard Dwyer


Richard Dwyer

Services/Project Type
Structural Engineering

The Francis House, built in the authentic Second Empire style is the only stone building in Calistoga. Designed by architect John Sexton, the Francis House was built in 1886 and features a square plan, exterior dressed stone walls, and a wood framed mansard roof clad with ornamental shingles. In 1979 the Francis House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural significance. After more than 50 years of abandonment and neglect, this property was meticulously restored and rehabilitated by its new Owners, Richard and Dina Dwyer. 

At a total construction cost of $4.75 million, the restoration of the Francis House to its original prominence in this northern Napa County community has reinvigorated locals and visitors alike. The decision to introduce an independent steel structure within the perimeter shell wall structure greatly simplified and facilitated the reconstruction. The recognition and use of the existing stone masonry walls with supplemental pinning and grouting to resist seismic forces proved to be minimally invasive and consistent with the preservation objectives. This “light-touch” strategy of utilizing the inherent strength of the stone masonry walls without requiring additional augmentation or strengthening of the lateral system was paramount for achieving the historic preservation objectives of the project.


Awards & Recognition

California Preservation Award - Rehabilitation, 2018