Designing within an historic context



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Texas Tech University


The positions of historic preservation range from allowing the building to live out its natural course to decay, to restoring or adding to the building using current and appropriate materials and construction methods.* This project is an adaptive use and an addition to the Union block, 117 North 4th Street, in C^iincy, Illinois. The original building technology, history, and design will be studied to evaluate decisions for the new that relate to the primary pattern and proportions of the existing buildings. This will allow for layering architectural styles, exposing the past and creating the next layer of technology and history.

This thesis will examine preservation strategies; case studies of projects by Carlo Scarpa, Aurelio Cialfetti, and others; and the context of the site in the Historic Washington Park area of Quincy to identify a set of principles to guide the design. The project will retain the historic commercial uses of the square (commercial along the first floor with residential, storage, or office space above) and include an addition which will direct new life into the area.

The scope of the design project will include an existing 7125 square feet, three story building with an unfinished basement, and an equal addition to the south. The total project will consist of a cafe, newsstand, and information area on the ground floors and sbc residential units on the floors above.