The Future of History
Architecture students use lasers to save California missions
Standing atop a dusty bluff overlooking the coastal surf town of Santa Cruz, Dominic Lizama ’16 and half a dozen of his architecture classmates survey a building with sandpaper walls and a Spanish tile roof.
The modest, one-story adobe structure is easily overlooked by tourists, but the students know it’s an irreplaceable landmark — one of 21 religious outposts established in the late 18th and early 19th centuries by Franciscan missionaries to spread Christianity to Native Americans. It marks a distinct chapter in California’s pre-statehood.
But Lizama and his classmates aren’t there to study its history. They are there to save it.