The Westcott House

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The Westcott House

Schooley Caldwell teamed with Chambers, Murphy & Burge, Restoration Architects, for the renovation and preservation of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Westcott House in Springfield, Ohio, which was transformed into a museum and educational center. The Westcott House was built in 1907 and is one of eleven of Wright’s designs in Ohio.  After WWII it was divided into eight apartments, and years of neglect left it in very poor condition.

The design team began with emergency stabilization work: mitigating water intrusion, repairing and reinforcing the structure, removing infill and insignificant additions, and restoring the clay tile roof. Once the structure was stabilized, the design focused on restoring Wright’s design while integrating modern systems with extraordinary sensitivity.

Schooley Caldwell led the efforts to design custom lighting fixtures according to Wright’s drawings, to meet modern life safety codes, and to make the building accessible to people with disabilities. We also provided mechanical and electrical engineering services. Incorporating new HVAC and electrical systems into the house required extraordinary creativity and care, as they needed to be as invisible as possible. The HVAC system routed ductwork inconspicuously to minimize disruption to original fabric; tucked it into tiny wall cavities, the original radiator cabinets, and casework; and even used furniture as a hiding place (the living room’s Inglenook benches do double duty as return air ducts). Despite its invisibility, the air conditioning system provides the cooling capacity necessary to accommodate large groups of people.

The award-winning project was completed in 2004 and has enabled the Westcott House Foundation to pursue their goal of maintaining the house as a “must-see” attraction.

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