Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The S.S. Badger

The S.S. Badger entered into service in 1953 and is the only coal-fired steamship remaining in operation in North America. Its unique propulsion system has been designated a national mechanical engineering landmark. Initially it transported railroad freight cars, but was outfit to also provide excellent passenger accommodations. With its use for railroad transport waning through the 1980s, the S.S. Badger fell out of commission in 1990. However, only a year later it was put into service as a car ferry and for the use of leisure passengers.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Fond du Lac Residential Design Guidelines

A brochure describing residential design guidelines for historic homes in Fond du Lac has been completed and now is featured on the city's website. It provides NPS-sanctioned guidelines for the sensitive care and repair of historic residences.  Additionally, it offers a historical overview of the community, a discussion concerning prevelent styles found in Fond du Lac's historic building stock and information on useful resources.

The Milwaukee Art Museum

Internationally-renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava designed the Quadracci Pavilion (above) as an addition to the War Memorial Center (bottom), which has served as Milwaukee's Art Museum since 1957. The prominent Burke Brise Soleil in the Calatrava design, which was competed in 2001, is a kinetic sunscreen with a 217 foot span that opens and closes twice daily. Eero Saarinen's War Memorial also provides a graceful extension of Milwaukee's business district with the city's most distinctive asset, its waterfront location on Lake Michigan.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Olin House Project Wins Award

The Madison Trust for Historic Preservation awarded the Olin House Project recognition for excellence in residential restoration at a ceremony held at the Orpheum Theater last night. Olin House is owned by the University of Wisconsin and serves as the chancellor's residence. The project team consisted of:
Architecture Network, Inc., Project Architect
Bachman Construction, General Contractor
Affiliated Engineers, Inc., Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, IT
Professor Virginia Terry Boyd, Historic Interiors
Cornerstone Preservation, Historical Consultant
Hill Electric & IT, Electrical Contractor
H&H Industries, HVAC Contractor
Dave Jones Plumbing, Plumbing Contractor

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Unity Chapel Cemetery, Wyoming Valley, Wisconsin

The graves of Frank Lloyd Wright's extended family, the Lloyd Jones, who once inhabited the beautiful Wyoming Valley are in the cemetery adjacent to Unity Chapel in rural Spring Green. Although Frank Lloyd Wright no longer is buried there, the site speaks to the family connections that were so important to him both as an artist and as an individual. In many ways, the Taliesin Fellowship can be seen as drawing deeply on his mother's family traditions. Wright's aunts, who operated the Hillside Home School, sought to instruct their students in a curriculum that valued both cultural achievement and practical knowledge. In those same buildings, Wright later created an experience for his Taliesin apprentices that provided instruction in both culture and practical knowledge through progressive participatory education.

Hillside, Spring Green, WI

The Hillside Building at the Taliesin Estate near Spring Green, Wisconsin was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Constructed in 1902, it functioned as part of an educational facility that was operated by the architect's aunts from the 1880s into the early 20th century. After the school closed in the teens Wright acquired the property, but the Hillside building stood empty for well over a decade and suffered from lack of use and vandalism. In 1932, Wright restored and rehabilitated Hillside and added a large drafting room at its north end. It since has functioned as the principal studio space for the Talieisn Fellowship during its summers in Wisconsin.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fond du Lac Residential Guidelines Brochure

Cornerstone Preservation has been working with the City of Fond du Lac on a brochure intended to help the owners of city-designated historic residences undertake sensitive alterations to their properties. It provides information concerning the history of the community and important preservation-related references; it also describes the criteria by which proposed projects will be evaluated by the Fond du Lac Historic Preservation Commission. The overriding objective has been to create a tool that will assist building owners protect and enhance the historic character of their properties in a way that will not necessarily be more expensive.

Keepers' Houses, Lower Fox River Navigational System

Ten of what had been at least a dozen Lock Keepers’ residences remain in place along the historic waterway between Menasha and De Pere. Nine of them are cited as contributing elements to their districts in a multiple-property NRHP listing, “Waterway Resources of the Lower Fox River, 1850-1941” (approved October 25, 1993).

Constructed between 1892 and 1928, the houses are integral to the lock sites at Appleton Locks 1 and 3, Cedars, Little Chute Guard Lock, Combined Locks, Kaukauna 1, Rapide Croche, Little Kaukauna and De Pere. All are unoccupied, and in most cases have been for more than twenty-five years. Their mothballed status has contributed to their deterioration, and they have become targets for vandalism due to their relative isolation.

The Fox River Navigational System Authority (FRNSA) is at about mid-point in the process of returning the locks of the Lower Fox River to operation and now would like to take the steps necessary to secure the future of the former keepers’ residences. In taking measures to protect them from further deterioration, the FRNSA proposes to (1) complete roof and foundation repairs, (2) repair exterior walls by tuckpointing, repairing and replacing materials in-kind, and painting, and (3) complete hazard materials abatement (lead and asbestos).

The FRNSA eventually plans to rehabilitate the houses to function as important interpretive or hospitality features along the operational waterway. Anticipating the restored locks and canals will provide a significant enhancement to tourism, the presence of these integral and historically significant houses will lend character to the navigational system and provide multiple, related attractions along its route.

Wisconsin Memorial Hospital District Update

Last winter Cornerstone Preservation completed a Mitigation Plan for the Wisconsin Memorial Hospital complex at the Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison. The plan was requested, and subsequently approved, by the Wisconsin SHPO. It was put into place to mitigate the adverse effect that the planned demolition of the centerpiece of the district, the main hospital and administration building, would have had on the district's integrity. Last week, Governor Jim Doyle ordered that demolition of the building not move forward and that the Division of State Facilities work with a private developer (with a great track record in Historic Preservation) to rehabilitate the structure.