An examination of the pre-design process documentation and the impact on the renovations of three historic theaters



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Texas A&M University


This thesis examines the pre-design documentation from the renovation of three historic theaters located in Detroit, Michigan. Two theaters hired architectural firms to produce a pre-design document. The third theater utilized a design-build approach to renovation. Interviews were conducted to review the approach and final outcomes. It became evident through the analysis of the documentation and interviews that it was beneficial in the renovation of a historic theater to have a comprehensive predesign process that identifies: the nature of the pre-design document, the nature of the client, the nature of the pre-design team, and the scope of work and time available. It also became apparent that the organizational approach that would apply to most any document for a heritage building should follow the Problem Seeking format of: Form, Function, Time and Economy. Utilizing this format for a pre-design record should yield a document that is concise, comprehensive and flexible.