Tom Butt
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  A Year in the Life After Politics - Part 2
January 10, 2024

July Wickie Day at East Brother

July 13 -- Shirley and I went to the 5-year anniversary of the Resilient By Design project at the Metro Center. I served on the executive board during the design phase. Among several presentations was the North Richmond Living Levee. The ferry ride over and back was luxurious!

July 18 -- Bear Lakes and Round Lake Loop trails in Lakes Basin

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Bear Lake

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Libby, the high energy point dog, turned out to be no match for the rocky trails of Lakes Basin. She was sidelined for a few days with cut paws.

Flowers on Butcher Ranch Road Trail

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August Wickie Day at East Brother. Another beautiful day at East Brother Island. 13 volunteers. Weeded and harvested vegetables from the garden. Weeded and raked the grounds. Serviced the water filters and UV system. Installed wireless controllers for the hoist. Sanded and prepped the tower stairway for repainting. Serviced the engines. Had a great lunch in the sunshine.

August 7. Long Lake. Lots of thunder and lightning

Still lots of flowers in the high country

7.5 miles round trip to Deer Lake

The elusive Pinedrop (Pterospora andromeda) in profusion.

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Last hike of August visit – Bear Lakes Loop

Back to Sierra City in September, a rainy day on Main Street

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The rain stopped long enough for a short walk to Loves Falls

The crew on a hike to Volcano Lake

Another rainy day in the Sierra. Glad we’re not at Burning Man. We explored today — drove over the mountain to Graeagle, lots of boutique shopping, had beers at the Tavern and then found the Brewers Lair, a great family and dog friendly place just outside Graeagle. Took a walk through sleepy Sierra City just before dark and discovered the Old Sierra City Hotel that caters primarily to trail weary PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) hikers. With the rain, it was full tonight.

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September 4, one of our favorite hikes – Bear Lakes Loop

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Neighborhood bear checks out the back yard of the Old Schoolhouse

September 19 – 50 years ago Interactive Resources was founded

On September 19, I received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Sustainable Contra Costa

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Lifetime Achievement Award

September 23, Annual Rosie the Riveter Gala at the Craneway. I was the founding board member of Rosie the Riveter Trust.

October 1 – Hardly Strictly Bluegrass at Golden Gate Park

The California Butts (at the Hotel Mac celebrating Interactive Resources' 50th Anniversary). Missing are GiGi, Joey, and Sara.

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A second visit to Fayetteville in October included a trip to Eureka Springs

The Basin Park Hotel

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Basin Park Hotel Sketch

Just up the street from the Basin Park Hotel is the former law office of my grandfather, F.O. Butt

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October 7 -- We had breakfast with mayor of Eureka Springs this morning, Butch Berry, and then visited his office. My grandfather, F.O. Butt was elected mayor of Eureka Springs in 1911, 1916 and 1920. Butch is, like me, an architect, having graduated from the University of Arkansas with a degree in architecture four years behind me.

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Hiking the Kessler Mountain trails

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October Wickie Day at East Brother

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Granddaughter Cecilia’s senior picture

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In late October, Shirly and I spent several days in Washington DC. It was the fall ASTM meeting for me, but we visited a lot of cousins and visited a lot of museums.

At a Veterans’ Day event, I joined two former Richmond City Council Colleagues, John Marquez and Nat Bates

November Wickie Day at East Brother

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December Wickie Day at East Brother

I continued to work almost full time as an architect at the firm I founded 50years ago, Interactive Resources. Most of the projects I work on now involve building envelope components (roofs, windows, exterior walls, plaza decks, and waterproofing). Most are repair and replacement projects, and most are at buildings owned by the federal, state or local governments. Not a lot of architectural pizazz but very complex and technical. Several involve historic buildings where the work must conform to Secretary of the Interior’s Standards.

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Completed in December 2023 was the complete replacement of rooftop HVA equipment and reroofing of the Rattigan State Office Building and Courthouse in Santa Rosa.


Rattigan State Office Building and Courthouse in Santa Rosa.


This project is replacement of all the windows at the Sisk State Courthouse in Fresno
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Water resistance and air infiltration testing of new window mockup.

This is the historic Unruh Building across the street from the State Capital in Sacramento, home of the State Treasurer. It is being gutted and rehabilitated. My scope is roofing, waterproofing, windows, cement plaster, and metal panels.

These windows, replaced once already, will be replaced with new high-performance windows.


The concrete roof at the UC Santa Cruz Interdisciplinary Science Building, which includes greenhouses has failed. We designed a new roof system that will start construction in 2024. 

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This is the original and long abandoned electrical power plant at UC Berkeley, a historic building designed by John Galen Howard. It will be converted to a new main campus electrical substation as part of a sustainability policy for conversion to an all-electric campus.



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Rehabilitation of the old Power Plant


For more. see Butts to the Buttes, January 7, 2024, for November and December of 2023.