Category Archives: Historic Renovation

Spring 2019

HDC President Charissa Durst presents at Circleville Rotary Club

After the article on Ohio’s historic theatres appeared in the Ohio AAAMagazine in November, HDC received a call from Bob Sneed to give a presentation on historic theatres to the Circleville Noon Rotary meeting in January.

Charissa Durst with Ian Webb, President of the Noon Rotary (left) and Bob Sneed (right).

Woodward Opera House featured in Revitalization Magazine

HDC’s opera house project appears in the Spring 2019 edition of Heritage Ohio’s Revitalization Magazine.

HDC completes drawings of the Ballville Dam

In 2017, HDC was asked by Commonwealth Heritage Group to join their team to provide Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record (HABS/HAER) documentation of the Ballville Dam on the Sandusky River, which was scheduled to be demolished. After the team was awarded the project, HDC conducted research at the city engineer’s office in Fremont, Ohio, and looked through construction drawings, historical photographs, and inspection reports of the dam. The team documented the dam prior to its demolition and during demolition in the summer of 2018, and in the first quarter of 2019 completed the drawings

Construction of the dam started in 1912 to provide hydroelectric power to the area, but the Great Flood of 1913 almost destroyed the dam. The dam was rebuilt and expanded in 1914-1916 with a steam plant added in 1916 to boost production needs. The steam plant closed in 1929, was reactivated during World War II, and then was demolished in 1954. The City of Fremont purchased the dam in 1960 to divert fresh water for storage and renovated it in 1969 to treat fresh water. The City constructed a new water treatment plant in 2013, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources made plans to remove the dam to allow the Sandusky River to revert back to its natural state.

HDC historic architect Charissa Durst completed the drawings, Commonwealth Heritage Group historian Elaine Robinson wrote the background history, and Dietrich Floeter took the large-format photographs before and during the dam demolition.

Sheet 1 of 2, showing location map and overall plan.
Sheet 2 of 2 showing elevation and details.

Devon Pool Bath House nears completion

With a Memorial Day pool opening closing in fast, the work on the Devon Pool Bath House is nearing completion. All of the exterior walls and and the roof structure are up, and the remaining work consists of installing exterior wall and roof finishes and interior work. The wet weather delayed construction, but work is still expected to be completed in April with the pool scheduled to be open Memorial Day weekend. Some last-minute, change-order work included adding a manhole to access an unknown sanitary line tap and providing a new tap and pipe for a future pool equipment building, which HDC has also been commissioned to design.

The office section is ready for the cupola to be installed
The entry breezeway with decorative trusses and skylights

HDC starts work on Devon Pool Phase III

In January, HDC started work to design the final phase of improvements to Devon Pool. The project consists of replacing the two existing pool equipment buildings (one built in the 1930s and the other in the 1960s), replacing any pool equipment near the end if its life cycle, replacing the remaining old concrete deck, and making repairs to the toddler pool. The new equipment building will sit on the foundations of the existing buildings and enclose the space in between to create additional indoor storage space. Later this spring, the City of Upper Arlington will decide whether to retain the toddler pool as is, upgrade it to meet state health code, or replace it with a new amenity, such as a sprayground or splash pad.

Rendering of proposed street elevation of the mechanical equipment building.

OSU Cockins Hall Fourth Floor also nears completion

The renovation of the fourth floor in Cockins Hall at The Ohio State University for the Statistics Department reached substantial completion in March. The project started off as a fire alarm replacement project, but the scope expanded when OSU required the abatement of the asbestos-containing plaster ceiling between the fourth floor and the attic. OSU then required that the replacement ceiling not bear on any of the partition walls, to make future floor plan modifications possible without major construction. The Statistics Department then requested the renovation of the fourth floor to include a conference room named for a recent alumni donor. HDC was already working with Monks Engineers, a TEC company, on the fire alarm project and was tasked to lead the renovation work. This project consisted of alterations to the floor plan and new floor, ceiling and wall finishes along with the named conference room. During design, the existing 40-year-old air handling unit in the attic failed, and replacement of the HVAC system for this floor was added to the project, requiring alterations to an attic dormer and a new attic plenum to bring in sufficient outside air. Construction is scheduled to be completed by May to allow the Statistics Department to move back in over summer break.

This attic dormer was altered to provide fresh air to the new HVAC system.
The entry to the new conference room is waiting for the art glass installation.

Retrospective of HDC’s office beagles

The first office dog at Hardlines Design Company was Bagle the Beagle. Bagle came from the Delaware County Humane Society and of the six dogs available for adoption that day in 1993, she was the only one who didn’t bark. Bagle had previously been adopted but was returned because she was too afraid of the family’s son, and the shelter thought her original owner probably included males who beat her. Bagle was about a year old when she joined HDC, and it soon became evident that she was an alpha dog who loved to track rabbits.

Bagle the Beagle in 1997. She managed the office from 1993 to 2004.

At the end of 1996, a client in Athens, Ohio, who knew we had a beagle kept calling to see if we wanted to adopt a second beagle that was at Athens Pound Rescue. Sadie the Beagle came to the office over Christmas break and tried soooo hard to be Bagle’s best friend, but Bagle was not having any of it. As the alpha dog, Bagle expected Sadie to acknowledge her lead and do what she was told. I think Bagle expected this of the humans as well! Over the next few months, it was evident that Bagle was very unhappy at not being the only dog anymore, and she started limping and dragging her rear leg. Don’s mother’s daschund had died the previous year, so Don’s thought was to train Sadie to be a replacement dog for his mother. The Monday after Don took Sadie to Akron for the weekend, Bagle’s limp was cured and HDC’s employees were amazed at the spring in her step and the shine in her eyes, which they had never seen before. Bagle was perfectly happy to host Sadie for visits, as long as Sadie went home afterwards.

Sadie the Beagle in 1997. She visited the office from 1997 to 2006.

Bagle died of a heart attack in April 2004 at just over 12 years of age, probably as a result of chemotherapy for the thyroid cancer that was diagnosed in February 2004. Donut came from the Franklin County Dog Shelter in May 2004 as a wild eight-week old puppy who had been found on the street when she was four weeks old. However, she was so cute we spent the first year in weekly puppy training classes, trying to get her domesticated. Sadie actually came to the office for a visit and met Donut as a puppy, but you could tell Sadie was expecting to see Bagle. Just before she turned 12 in 2006, Sadie left us after developing a fast-growing stomach cancer.

Unlike Bagle, Donut had no concept of how to track rabbits. Donut’s DNA test indicated that she was 10-20 percent rat terrier, and I think the terrier portion was all in her brain. Donut loved to chase chipmunks and catch mice and play with them by tossing them in the air, which apparently is what rat terriers do. We said goodbye to Donut in December 2018 after her kidneys started to fail when she was almost 15.

Donut the Beagle in 2006. Donut’s reign lasted from 2004 to 2018.

Who will be the next HDC office beagle? That still remains to be seen, but it will likely be a puppy since Donut was the only beagle who was able to be trained to (mostly) come when called off leash. Stay tuned for updates!


Winter 2018


It’s Called a WHAT?

While attending Heritage Ohio’s 7th Annual Appalachia Heritage Success Stories meeting in December, Charissa Durst, Megan Claybon, and Cathie Senter got a tour of the Ohio statehouse. From the floor of the atrium connector you could see the underside of the soffits of the Greek Revival annex building, and what appeared to be Lego pieces on the underside. Cathie was able to identify these pieces as mutules, since she once taught a restoration class where they cleaned and restored so many wooden versions that they were all sick of the word.

Officially, a mutule is a rectangular block that hangs from the soffit of the cornice in the Doric order and appear over the triglyphs. They are likely a stone translation of the round pegs used to fasten structural pieces together when Greek temples were made entirely of wood. Even so, they still look like Legos pieces to me!

  

HDC Commissioned to Rehabilitate the Dawn Theater

The City of Hillsdale, Michigan, commissioned HDC in December to rehabilitate the Dawn Theater, a vaudeville/movie house that opened in September 1919. The building was renovated in 1938 with the addition of “Nu-Wood” acoustical paneling and again in 1970 when the brick façade and windows were covered with cement panels, which also unfortunately removed the stepped parapet. The theater’s latest use was a nightclub, where tiers infilled the sloped floor to make room for dining tables. Two rows of original movie seats still remain in the balcony. The goal of the rehabilitation is to restore the front façade and rehabilitate the interior for continued use as a banquet and meeting space.


The facade of the Dawn Theater as it looks today

The facade of the Dawn Theater when it opened in September 1919.

HDC employee Cathie Senter measures the slope of the parapet


Devon Pool Project Out to Bid

In Spring of 2017, the City of Upper Arlington commissioned HDC to make improvements to the existing pool house constructed in the 1950s. After a series of public meetings and presentations, the City decided to replace the existing building. The new building is scheduled to be open by Memorial Day 2019 with new shade structures and deck furniture provided this Memorial Day 2018. The new pool house will contain enlarged facilities for the staff, dressing rooms and interior showers, a concession stand with kitchen, and ample storage.


REVIT rendering of the new pool house


Clark County Exterior Work Almost Completed

When HDC was commissioned by the Clark County Commissioners to renovate their administration buildings in 2015, all parties knew that the wish list of work exceeded the available budget, especially at the historic courthouse and A.B. Graham building. HDC’s prioritized the work by securing the exterior envelope before considering interior improvements. HDC saved the county money by creating separate bid packages for roofing, windows, and masonry, negating the need for a general contractor and their markup. With the completion of the exterior work, County agencies are meeting to decide where the remaining funds should be spent and whether to appropriate additional money for the entire wish list.


Exterior of the A.B. Graham Building

Exterior of the Clark County Courthouse

Exterior of the Jobs & Family Services Building


Donut Defies the Cold!

Right after Christmas the temperature dropped to the teens and single digits. When it gets this cold, Donut’s paws usually start hurting after a few minutes when she walks through snow/ice. However, when she sees the sun shining through the window she just wants to go outside and run. Spraying her paws with non-stick cooking spray seems to buy more time outside when it’s cold. Here’s a picture of her enjoying the sunny weather and facing down the wind.


Donut on a rock at Prairie Oaks Metro Park

June 2017

HDC Says Good Bye and Good Luck to Intern Ellie Ervin!

During her senior year, Columbus Alternative High School student and Clintonville resident Ellie Ervin interned at HDC one day per week. It was good timing for Ellie—she was able to attend several job site meetings at John Bryan State Park (from pre-construction through punchlist). She also helped take field measurements on a 0-degree winter day and conducted primary research at the Franklin County courthouse and historic city directories for the documentation of 790 East Long Street. A funny memory during the research was Ellie’s reaction to the directory notes that indicated which houses had a phone–Millennials! Ellie was accepted by multiple colleges and has chosen to attend the architecture program at the University of Cincinnati. We know she will be a success and hope she comes back often for her work-study internships at UC!

John Bryan Day Lodge Renovation Nears Completion

Completed Interior of the Day Lodge Looking East

HDC was commissioned by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to renovate the Day Lodge in John Bryan State Park near Yellow Springs, which was built in the 1930s. Exterior work included a new roof, repair/replace deteriorated wood siding, new windows, and new paint finishes. Interior work included new floor finish, cleaning and refinishing the interior wood surfaces, and refinishing the historic one-piece table. Other improvements included adding PTAC units for air conditioning and heating, converting a wood burning fireplace into a propane gas one, new water heater, and new electrical panel.

HDC Documents Building on the Near East Side

Photo of 790-792 East Long Street in Columbus, Ohio, by Jeff Bates, March 2017

Columbus Next Generation Corporation commissioned HDC to document the building at 790-792 East Long Street prior to its demolition. The building is caddy corner from the Lincoln Theatre and is not structurally sound. The building was constructed c. 1875 and housed a grocery store on the corner with a residence next door and on the second floor. The residential areas housed a restaurant/bar for 100 years before closing in the 1990s. HDC prepared black and white photographs, a historical report, and measured drawings of the two accessible floor levels. The final documentation will be submitted to the City Historic Preservation Office and the Columbus Public Library for inclusion in their respective archives in perpetuity.

Donut Visits a Job Site

Donut poses by the southwest corner of the Day Lodge in April 2017

During fieldwork in 2016 and the cooler months of construction of the John Bryan State Park Day Lodge project in 2017, HDC president Charissa Durst often took Donut with her. After the project meeting, Donut would go for a long walk in the park. When the weather was too warm for her to wait in the car, Donut waited outside under a tree, tied to a picnic table. Once she barked and howled during the entire meeting, urging it to end so she could go on an expedition in the park.


January 2017

(Originally posted January 31, 2017)

Hardlines Design Company (HDC) has a new look for our website! We’ve updated information and images, and hopefully made it more informative and useful.

HDC welcomes Megan Claybon!

Megan joined HDC at the end of 2016 due to her interest in historic preservation projects. Megan holds a Master of Architecture and Certificate in Historic Preservation from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Georgia Tech. She has also studied abroad in Paris. Megan’s previous experience includes managing several Kroger supermarket design projects from programming to bidding as well as the design of historical style high-end custom residential homes. Megan is from Atlanta and she and her Boston terrier Sherlock are trying to get used to Ohio winters.

 

Clark County Juvenile Court Courtyard Project Nears Completion

 

HDC is currently punching out the project to enclose the existing courtyard at the Juvenile Court facility. The new multi-purpose room will provide space for meetings, classroom lectures, and even amateur theatrics. A new exterior entry vestibule and kitchenette area were also added. The enclosure features skylights that provide required light levels to the holding cells whose windows previously looked into the exterior courtyard.

Woodward Opera House

  

After we’ve been working on this project for 16 years, the Woodward Opera House is racing to finish by the end of 2017! Most of the work completed to date has been in the adjacent Annex building and the new construction behind it. The photo on the right shows the Promenade that forms the lobby serving the opera house on the third and fourth floors. The openings mark the location of the new main stair. The photo on the left shows the new top floor that encloses and showcases the Italianate roof brackets.

Donut Visits a Project Site

  

Due to the decent weather over the Christmas and New Year holidays, Donut went for walks at Franklin County Metroparks five times, 5-6 miles each! The last trip was to Glacier Ridge Metropark in Dublin, where we unexpectedly ran into a historical marker Hardlines Design Company had designed for the Ohio Department of Transportation marking the site of Mulzer Mill


Historic preservation success: Stewart Elementary School opens!

(originally posted by Andy Sewell on January 6, 2015)

Yesterday marked the grand re-opening of the historic Stewart Elementary School in German Village, a project that Hardlines Design Company has worked hard to help Columbus City Schools complete. The renovated, 141-year-old building was redesigned to incorporate the latest technology and accomodate the needs of 21st-century schoolchildren, while retaining its historic character. Reviews of the school are positive, as evident from this article in the Columbus Dispatch:

Kelly Graham grew up in German Village and attended Stewart from 1987 to 1994. (Her husband will not let her forget that he once defeated her in the Stewart Elementary spelling bee, even though he was a grade below her.)

Graham said she appreciates that the renovated building retains its old charm, with high ceilings, wood floors and huge windows that teachers can open on nice days.

“I think it will definitely have a positive effect,” said Graham, 31, an instructional assistant at Stewart with two children attending the school. “The kids are now excited to use it.”

A group of Hardlines employees tours Stewart Elementary School shortly before it opens. Company president Charissa Durst is in the foreground. Photo credit: Jeff Bates


Hardlines’ Oyler School project wins rehabilitation award

(by Charissa Durst, posted on December 11, 2012)

Back in 2006, when Dick Krehbiel of the Roth Partnership asked me if HDC would be willing to join their team for some historic school renovations in Cincinnati, I said “Sure!” HDC would be the team’s historic preservation consultant and be responsible for the rehabilitation of the exterior enclosure, with emphasis on roofs and historic masonry and terra cotta. It seemed pretty straightforward. Little did we know that our work to repair the exterior of Oyler School would be part of an award-winning design project or that the school would become nationally recognized as a catalyst for turning around a poor urban neighborhood.

Oyler School was built in 1930 and designed by the prominent Cincinnati architectural firm of Samuel Hannaford & Sons. The building anchors the Lower Price Hill Historic District, which is located in the river valley to the southwest of downtown Cincinnati. The school’s impressive exterior was described in the National Register nomination as a “delightful blending of Art Deco and Italian Romanesque executed in terra cotta, brick, and Rookwood tile.” Statues of boys and girls executed by Rookwood are seated in various locations on the building.

View of the south elevation of Oyler School

In the mid-1970s, when Cincinnati Public Schools announced it would close Oyler, the Lower Price Hill community rallied to save their school. In the 1980s, the Community Council formed to give the community a voice in city politics and the neighborhood was listed in the National Register of Historic Places as Cincinnati’s largest historic district. Ultimately, Cincinnati Public Schools committed to a $20 million rehabilitation and addition to Oyler School.

Detail of terra cotta on the south elevation

HDC’s work centered around the restoration, repair, and replacement of the terra cotta details.  HDC’s design team researched the composition of the exiting terra cotta in order to find materials and methods for seamless repair and replacement. The team paid special attention to the different types of glazing finish the contractor would encounter, including monolithic (uniform solid), mottled (speckled), polychrome (having two or more colors on the same unit), and polychrome blended colors (varying colors are blended by method of surface application).

Falcon detail on south elevation

Ultimately, HDC designed and specified terra cotta work that work included removing, cleaning, and re-installing terra cotta features after the repair and reinforcement of the underlying structural system; repairing cracks and damaged glazing, and replicating missing/damaged items using glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC). HDC staff also made multiple visits to the job site to approve the quality of the mockups and to resolve hidden structural problems as pieces of terra cotta were removed for cleaning.

Capital terra cotta details

Oyler School was one of eight projects to receive a 2012 Rehabilitation Award from the Cincinnati Preservation Association. The event was held on Saturday, November 17, at the Cincinnati Zoo, whose renovation of the Reptile House also received an award. Charissa Durst and Bill Faciane represented Hardlines Design Company and were joined by representatives from the Roth Partnership, Cincinnati Public Schools, Oyler School, and the Lower Price Hill community in what may have been the largest turnout in the history of the awards.


Dick Krehbiel of the Roth Partnership and Charissa Durst of Hardlines Design Company (photo by Bill Faciane)

In tandem with the completion of its physical transformation, the school’s unique K-12 program targeted at serving the community is making national headlines, as American Public Media featured the school on four segments of its “Marketplace” program this year. Once again, Hardlines Design Company has contributed to the preservation of a historical community building.


HDC Historic Preservation Work in the News

(by Andy Sewell, originally posted October 24, 2012)

Recently, HDC architectural engineer Bill Faciane was in the news, talking about our work with Toward Independence, a non-profit group in Xenia, Ohio, that is participating in a city-wide movement to renovate and restore downtown businesses. The group owns two buildings in downtown Xenia and became eligible for façade improvements through a Community Development Block Grant.The group contracted HDC to help restore the buildings to their original, historical appearance.

Originally, the buildings were covered in 1970s-era material after damage from a 1974 tornado that struck downtown Xenia. Like many things from that time, what seemed like a good idea hasn’t really held up in terms of lasting aesthetics! Through restoration of the buildings to their historical appearance, Toward Independence will contribute to the revitalization of downtown Xenia. This work is another example of the value of historic building renovation in revitalizing the downtowns of American communities.

You can view the video clip and read the accompanying news article here.


Lincoln Theatre Wins the Recchie Award!

(by Charissa Durst, originally posted December 9, 2011)

The Goldilocks Principle, or Third Time’s a Charm!

The James B. Recchie Award was established in 1984 by the Columbus Landmarks Foundation to honor those who have made exceptional advances in historic preservation and urban design in the central Ohio area. Since previous projects that received the award were designed by the most prestigious design firms in town, we here at HDC have always felt that the Recchie Award is one of the premier historic preservation awards in the state—and one that I’ve dearly wanted for the firm!

HDC began the addition to and rehabilitation of the Lincoln Theatre in 2005 with a master plan, with construction completed in May 2009. The 1928 Egyptian Revival theatre once was the heart of a thriving African-American neighborhood, but it had sat vacant for almost 40 years. The City of Columbus acquired the property in 2004 and recruited the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA) to manage the building rehabilitation project. The Lincoln Theatre Association was formed with wide community support and a stated mission to “serve as the steward of the historic landmark theatre, as an incubator for talented, emerging artists.” This complex project was completed on such a fast schedule that when people asked what was our favorite part of the Lincoln Theatre project, we sometimes joked: “When it was over!” But today, we’d answer (this time, only half jokingly): “When we won the Recchie Award!”

Our path to the Recchie Award, however, was elusive, and the competition tough…

The 2009 Recchie:  Were we too small?
The Lincoln Theatre opened on Memorial Day of 2009, and we nominated the project for the Recchie Award by submitting a description of the project along with the benefits to the community. Five of the nominations were selected to be finalists, including the Lincoln Theatre, and needless to say, everyone involved was elated. The HDC design staff coordinated with the theatre staff of CAPA to show the three jurors around the building, and then we attended the awards ceremony the next day, with high hopes and crossed fingers. But the Recchie was awarded to the Ohio State University Thompson Library renovation, a large-scale, high-profile project to expand and modernize the beloved main library, one of the anchor buildings on the Oval at the OSU campus. We had to admit, the work was indeed massively impressive and well deserving of the award. So, we thought, maybe next year…

The 2010 Recchie:  Were we too big?
In 2010, we again nominated the Lincoln Theatre (thinking maybe 2009 was an anomaly), and the Lincoln again became a finalist. But this time, the Recchie Award went to a project on the opposite end of the size spectrum, the Franklin Park Residence and Gardens, a residential-sized project commended not only for its design but also for its community involvement and impact. Dozens of nearby residents came out to praise the gardens. Again, we had to admit, it was a beautifully executed historic house renovation, and one with an immediate community benefit.

HDC architect Vivian Majtenyi explains the Lincoln Theatre project during the 2010 jury tour

The 2011 Recchie:  Surprise! This time, just right!
In 2011, we decided to skip the nomination while we gathered more operating data about the theatre’s affect on the community. So you can imagine our surprise when the notification arrived that—for the third time—the Lincoln Theatre was an award finalist! When we asked who nominated the project, we were told that all nominations are anonymous, and in this case, only the name “Lincoln Theatre” was submitted, with no description or justification. This time, for the juror’s tour, HDC and CAPA each sent three people, and we highlighted the jazz academy on the third floor, the rooftop patio (missed on previous tours), and the diverse uses of the theatre.

The Jazz Academy’s keyboard studio (left) and the rooftop patio (right) (Photos courtesy of Brad Feinknopf)

We arrived at the 2011 awards ceremony at the Franklin Park Conservatory with subdued expectations, aiming to enjoy the presentation for itself. At the end of the evening, when Nancy Recchie announced that the winner was the Lincoln Theatre, we were stunned! After the presentation, we were congratulated by many friend and peers, who said the award was well deserved and long overdue.

When our group got together to talk about the process, we surmised that this year, we had done a good job on the tour of explaining what the Lincoln Theatre was all about. During the tour, juror Patty Stevens, Chief of Park Planning at Cleveland Metroparks, was amazed that the three design representatives from HDC were all women and marveled at how one firm could have architects, historians, and archaeologists under one roof. Juror Cleve Ricksecker, Executive Director of Capital Crossroads and Discovery District SID, was very impressed by how heavily the theatre was used for non-traditional events such as graduation parties and funerals, and Mark Feinknopf, an Architecture & Planning Consultant with Sacred Space Inc., was a former resident of Columbus who remembered being in the theatre before the renovation. He was particularly moved by its revival. The three jurors also commended the design of the newly inserted balcony, which has been very successful with audiences!

The performer’s view from the stage, showing the new balcony at the back (Photo courtesy of Brad Feinknopf)

The audience view of the Lincoln Theatre, from the balcony looking at the stage (Photo courtesy of Brad Feinknopf)

At left: Here we are, just before the official presentation of the plaques (the rolled awards we’re holding are for being finalists). Left to right: Todd Bemis (CAPA, VP of Operations), Charissa Durst (HDC, President), Laura Piersall (HDC, Project Architect), Alison Badowi (Kabil Associates, Structural Engineer), and Vivian Majtenyi (HDC, Architect)
At right: The 2011 Recchie Award plaque

Epilogue
Too small? Too big? Just right! That’s the Goldilocks principle, and for us, the third time quite unexpectedly turned out to be the charm. We were also given an extra award plaque to present to Mayor Coleman, in recognition of his support in securing the initial funding for the project; we’ll be giving the mayor his award in mid December.

And so, on a happy note, we here at HDC give a hearty thanks to all who contributed to the Lincoln Theatre renovation and operations, making this award possible. Be sure and check out the history of the Lincoln Theatre, and don’t miss their calendar for unique events and shows!

The Lincoln Theatre project team:
Architect: Hardlines Design Company
Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing/Engineer: Korda/Nemeth Engineering, Inc.
Structural/Civil Engineer: Kabil Associates
Acoustician: Acoustic Dimensions
Interiors/Furnishings: Williams Interior Design
General Contractor: The Quandel Group, Inc.

Also check out the announcement in the Columbus Dispatch.


The Hardlines Design Company Story Part 3 – Architecture, History, and Archaeology

(by Charissa Durst, originally published November 30, 2011)

Why do we offer architecture, history, and archaeology under one roof?

The tripartite structure of Hardlines was a natural outgrowth and evolution of the overlapping talents and interests of Don and myself, shaped over time through opportunity, hard work, and a little bit of serendipity. In the end, it allows us to offer our clients a unique combination of expertise in solving all kinds of issues related to ground-disturbing activities, ranging from roadway work to building construction and renovation.

The story really begins back in Massachusetts, where I grew up with an affinity for American history and the old buildings around me that so vividly expressed it. I thought hard about pursuing a degree in history, but my love of drawing and design led me to choose architecture instead. In the late 1980s, when Don and I were in architecture school at the Ohio State University, we both took preservation design studio and classes with Paul Young and Judy Kitchen, where we trained in preservation law and learned the ins and outs of researching historic properties, preparing Ohio Historic Inventory forms, and designing new buildings on historic sites. Although Don’s architecture thesis had a more graphic design orientation, I found myself opting for a written one that included historical research and technical reports.

p-revere-houseames-mansion

The Paul Revere House (above left) in Boston and the Ames Mansion (above right) in Easton, MA, two buildings that made a big impression on me when I was growing up.

When we graduated in 1990, we were not licensed architects, but our knowledge of how to research and document historic properties allowed us to dive into cultural resources projects such as HAER documentation at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, historic building inventories for the Wayne National Forest, and historic preservation plans for the Submarine Base in San Diego and Hill Air Force Base in Utah. I functioned as the company’s architectural historian during the early years. (Don noted that at least I got to put my written thesis to good use!) When I became a licensed architect, my focus changed, and we hired other people to fulfill this role. One part of the company has continued in that vein, and HDC is still well known for high-quality architectural history and preservation planning services.

The architectural division of the company really began operations in the mid-1990s, when Don and I successfully petitioned the Ohio Board of Examiners of Architects to allow us to take the architect licensing exam without completing internships under other architects, citing our relevant experience operating our own company (see previous blog entry). Our request was granted, and Don and I were licensed in 1995 and 1996 respectively. Not surprisingly, the company’s architectural design department specializes in renovating existing (and very often historic) buildings, a satisfying blend of our natural interests and experience.

Several years later, in 1998, one of our engineering clients suggested that we compete for the new ODOT cultural resources Request for Proposal—when we saw that it had a proposal limit of 12 pages (most RFPs were unlimited), we decided it was feasible! We won the first of several two-year cultural resources contracts with ODOT, and at that point hired our first archaeologist, as the ODOT contract required at least one pre-qualified archaeologist to be available. And so began our archaeology department, which has since grown and is now equipped to handle all sizes of projects, from small archaeological disturbance studies to large, complex Phase III data recoveries.

One of the major advantages of having all of these specialties under one roof is our ability to complete interesting projects for a variety of clients. For example, under a series of task order contracts with Naval Facilities Engineering Command, HDC’s cultural resources staff has completed archaeological surveys, historic building inventories, and integrated cultural resources management plans. Our architectural staff has conducted historic building assessments and prepared recommendations and cost estimates for various reuse options. Sometimes, all three departments collaborate on the same project, such as the Data Recovery for the Shaker North Village site, conducted for the Ohio Department of Transportation: HDC’s historians completed literature review, archaeology staff conducted the fieldwork, and the architectural staff helped identify various infrastructure components associated with the building foundations.

Having all these specialties together also makes for more interesting work for our employees. Many of the non-archaeology staff (myself included) have put in hard labor on archaeological data recovery projects, and HDC’s historians continue to conduct literature review for the archaeologists and help with historic building assessments for the architecture department. Most non-architectural staff have clocked some time measuring buildings to be rehabilitated, such as when our archaeologists crawled through and measured old tunnels under the Lincoln Theatre, an award-winning renovation project.

mike-in-lincoln-theatre-tunnel

One of our archaeologists maps out the layout of the tunnels under the Lincoln Theatre.

We were able to validate the direction of the company in 1995, when HDC became founding members of the American Cultural Resources Association, a trade organization for companies that provide cultural resources services such as archaeology, history, preservation planning, and historic architecture. There we met other firms from across the country that offered similar combinations of services.

I often help the historians by doing research at the National Archives in Maryland, which is near my parents’ home and gives me an opportunity to visit. And sometimes, while I’m waiting for requested materials in the main reading room, I remember why I almost decided to major in history instead of architecture. As it turns out, I’m very lucky to have a job where I can do both!