TRUCKEE, Calif. March 21, 2017 – Forests, beaches and trails may first come to mind when picturing California’s State Parks – but California State Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks) is also the steward of hundreds of historic buildings and bridges. Linchpin Structural Engineering, Inc. (Linchpin), led by senior principal Douglas Gadow, is now assisting to preserve them.

Awarded a three-year contract (expandable to five years) by California State Parks, Linchpin is the on-call historic structural engineer for the Northern Service Center –the expert when it comes to addressing structural issues in famous buildings from Lake Tahoe’s Vikingsholm to Hearst Castle on the coast.

“I love consulting on historic buildings and I’m honored by the recognition,” Gadow said.

Linchpin brings together an expert team to consult on the State Parks’ historic buildings. Gadow himself brings 15 years of experience.  He has consulted on National Park Service historic buildings in Yosemite, Grand Tetons, Golden Gate and elsewhere, as well as State Parks Buildings at Crystal Cove, Bodie and Vikingsholm, to name a few.  Some of those projects received preservation awards from the California Preservations Foundation, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Structural Engineer’s Association of California.

The Linchpin team includes the previously top-ranked historic structural engineer for State Parks, Michael Krakower, who will serve in an advisory/peer-review role, and technician David Guisande, who has assisted both Krakower and Gadow for over a dozen years.

The structural engineering services Linchpin will provide involves specifying the work for repairing deteriorated masonry or other historic/archaic materials, retrofitting for earthquakes, and designing strengthening measures for the adaptive reuse of these structures of California’s past.

In order to accomplish this work, it’s important to understand why and how these old buildings have stood the test of time, what materials are appropriate when it is time for repairs, and being extremely sensitive to the significant historic features.

Winning the State Parks contract required submitting a 30-plus page statement of qualifications and presenting and answering questions at an oral interview in Sacramento. Linchpin ultimately ranked higher than two larger firms for the contract.

Linchpin is currently designing a seismic retrofit for the unreinforced brick masonry Dechambeau Hotel at Bodie State Historic Park, specifying repair work for Vikingsholm’s famous stone turrets at Lake Tahoe, and engineering emergency shoring for the historic stamp mill at Plumas Eureka State Park, addressing the failed roof structure.

About Linchpin Structural Engineering:  Founded by Douglas Gadow in 2013, Linchpin Structural Engineering is a Truckee-based engineering firm specializing in residential and commercial structural design, ski area structures, piers, bridges, structural rehabilitation and historic preservation. A longtime resident of the Tahoe-Truckee area, Gadow currently serves as Town of Truckee Planning Commissioner and as a director on the Contractors’ Association of Truckee Tahoe Community Project Board. He recently resigned his appointment as chair of the Town of Truckee Historic Preservation Advisory Commission to join the Planning Commission. To find out more about Gadow and his company, go to, or call 530-563-6341.