In 1977, David Hitchcock ventured to the Sierra Nevada Foothills from the Bay Area and opened up an architectural practice serving the Bear Valley and Arnold areas, thus establishing Aspen Street Architects, Inc. Aspen Street Architects was the first and only practice, for multiple years, in Calaveras County. Designing and constructing the majority of the homes at Bear Valley Ski Resort in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, the firm quickly outgrew the initial office, finding a new home on Aspen Street in the high sierra town of Arnold, California, hence the name Aspen Street Architects. This marked the beginning of a company that would find its strength in personal, small town, rural California.
In 1983, Aspen Street Architects moved down the hill to the historic gold mining town of Angels Camp, California. In the following years, between 1983 and 2000, we worked with over 30 acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and clinics, and over 20 school districts. From the northern California Trinity Mountains and coastal towns, to the high desert eastern Sierra, and across the foothills and central valley, Aspen Street Architects honed our specialty of assisting small rural healthcare and school districts from funding assistance, master planning, and design, through the regulatory maze of jurisdictional agencies overseeing public building within California.
In the early 2000’s, Aspen Street Architects relocated to our current office outside of downtown Angels Camp but still within Calaveras County. A highlight of these years included our involvement as the architect for the Rural Health Design Consortium, an organization of 13 critical access hospitals across California interested in finding ways to improve healthcare delivery at reasonable costs in an era when healthcare construction was sky-rocketing. This involvement culminated with the design of a component (modular) acute care template hospital that was accepted by the US Department of Health and Human Services as a prototypical critical access hospital plan. After some smaller component success stories in California, the modular acute care hospital vision was fulfilled in 2012 with our design and construction of the replacement facility for Mercy St. John’s in Joplin, Missouri. After a EF5 rated tornado destroyed their existing facility, ASAI led a team that completed a 150,000+ square foot acute care hospital from greenfield site to delivering babies within 8 ½ months.