News & Publications: Historic Preservation

EYP Historic Preservation & Design Expert Matthew Chalifoux, FAIA, shares his extensive preservation expertise in The Military Engineer as he explores the challenges and partnership opportunities associated with applying design-build to complex and historically-significant preservation projects.

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The article, “Bridge to the Past,” authored by EYP Senior Structural Engineer and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) adjunct faculty member Mark Kanonik, recounts how a group of RPI structural engineering master’s degree students completed an extensive and unique analysis of the historic Shushan Covered Bridge in Shushan, NY. In accordance with the Historic American Engineering Record, the students documented the structure, while partaking in a radical departure from the traditional classroom engineering educational experience.

Using the right energy modeling tools at the right time in the design process is especially important in historic preservation, no matter what type of preservation is being undertaken. More

Kresge Auditorium and the MIT Chapel are once again taking center stage in the architectural world. More

Originally constructed around 1840 as a sentry post for Washington Navy Yard guards and relocated to Indian Head Naval Yard from 1909 to 2015, the 450-square foot Watch Box has a fascinating history. Home & Design shares how EYP approached moving the Watch Box back to its original Washington Navy Yard home. Aided by careful research, photographs, and clues in the existing structure, design team leader Matthew Chalifoux said, "We were trying to recreate something that was gone, to understand changes to a building over time."

How we can best shepherd the legacy of modernism into a durable and sustainable future raises many issues that are fundamentally changing the way in which preservation professionals approach the rehabilitation of a large segment of the built environment. More

The Washington Navy Yard recently reclaimed a piece of its illustrious past with the restoration of the Watch Box, a small, wood-framed Victorian building that served as a sentry post beginning in the 1850s. President Abraham Lincoln visited the Navy Yard late in the day on April 14, 1865, most likely making the Watch Box one of his last official stops before his fateful visit to Ford's Theatre that evening. More

August 9, 2016

Rehabilitating Richards

University Architect at the University of Pennsylvania, David Hollenberg, shares the intricacies and opportunities of renovating Louis Kahn's Richard Laboratories, a National Historic Landmark. More

W.F. Magann Corporation was subcontracted by Summit Construction to assist in relocating the Watch Box, a historic structure at NSF Indian Head (a naval research facility in Maryland) that once guarded the Washington Navy Yard during the Civil War.

A historic structure that Abraham Lincoln would often visit, the Watch Box played a vital role in keeping the Navy Yard secure and it remains to this day as the only surviving example from that period of time. As part of the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, the Navy decided to restore the structure and return it the Navy Yard where it originally belonged.

To complete the job, Ayers House Movers, another subcontracted construction company, needed to lift the structure from its foundation and move it to the waterfront, where W.F. Magann Corporation would load it onto their barge and float it up the river to the Washington Navy Shipyard.  Upon arrival in Washington D.C, the Watch Box would need to be loaded back on land for Ayers to transport inside the shipyard.

But of course, there were challenges to be had along the way.

As part of its annual Award for Excellence program, the Virginia chapter of the American Institute of Architects honored EYP with a prestigious Historic Preservation Honor Award for the restoration of the Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Indianapolis, IN. The renovation invisibly transformed the 107-year-old monumental landmark into a “machine for sustainability” that measurably mitigates the site’s urban heat island effect, decreases the building’s carbon footprint, and adds hundreds of thousands of gallons of water to the city’s supply each year. The jury noted that the project, “is a masterful restoration and an aggressive upgrade of a great historic building to meet contemporary standards for safety, accessibility, and environmental responsibility.”