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447 Minna Fire Damage Assessment & Repair

447 Minna suffered a devastating fire on the night of August 31, 2016.  The building was rendered unoccupiable, unsafe, and vulnerable to accelerated deterioration.  The building owner, Hearst Corporation, was resolute to stabilize the building, restore the perimeter envelope and return the building to occupancy.  The project had strict requirements, however, to remain within the bounds of insurance coverage.   Degenkolb was mobilized in the immediate aftermath under the General Contractor to provide temporary shoring for the precarious elevator machinery perched atop the charred roof.  Degenkolb quickly transitioned to Engineer of Record for a complete roof replacement, including all new timber trusses  in the style of the historic trusses.  We reused the historic brick walls and made concurrent code-required upgrades to the seismic detailing.  Degenkolb interfaced directly with the Insurance Experts to coordinate the scope of work and maintain alignment with insurance coverage.  Degenkolb provided extensive meeting facilitation, team coordination, schedule development, permitting support and construction support to assist the Owner with overall Project Management.  The first milestone was successfully reached – a complete roof replacement and weatherproof envelope by Thanksgiving, 2016 – less than 3 months after the fire.  Degenkolb continued forward, working under the Architect of Record to address remaining scope items and return the building to occupiable.  The completed building is being donated to a non-profit as part of the transformative Hearst – Forest City 5M project.

The scope of Degenkolb services on 447 Minna is illustrative of our Claims Management capabilities, where the delivery of engineering and team leadership is closely aligned with the needs of insurance coverage.  In any organization, a large loss can be a devastating occurrence that strains financial and personnel resources.  Combined with myriad stakeholders and complex technical issues, it can create a very difficult management environment.  By leveraging Degenkolb’s skillset for project management, team coordination, forensic engineering, technical development, insurance justification, document production and site support, the Owner can supplement their own response with a highly skilled Claims Management team.  The end result is a collaborative resolution, instead of a chaotic dispute.


  • Historic Dempster Brothers Printing Building, Constructed 1907
  • General Contractor, Plant Construction
  • Architect of Record, Architectural Resources Group
  • Repairs in conformance with the California State Historical Building Code


  • Restoration of a historic building to modern occupancy
  • Preparation for donation of building to local non-profit organization
  • Complete roof framing and membrane replacement
  • Repair of vulnerable brick detailing
Project Stats
Client Hearst Corporation,
Square Footage 10,000
Construction Cost $2.5 million
Completion Date 2018
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