Tag Archives: Perspectus Historic Architecture

5 Minutes with Perspectus Architecture’s Historic Studio

May is National Preservation Month! To celebrate, team members from our historic studio share their insights to questions like: What is the purpose of historic preservation? Why should developers prioritize the reuse of old buildings? What are the biggest challenges facing historic preservation today?

Continue reading to learn answers to those questions and more, including a paranormal experience.


Elizabeth Corbin Murphy, FAIA
Principal

What role does technology play in preservation?


Alice Sloan, Associate AIA
Historic Preservation Specialist

How did you end up specializing in historic preservation?

My parents instilled a love of history in me from a very young age. I grew up vacationing in the southern United States touring historic sites and battlefields and developed an appreciation of historic homes in particular.

What is your historic place to visit?

What do you think is the purpose of historic preservation?

What can we learn from tragic burning of the Cathedral Notre Dame Paris?

Thorough documentation in the form of photographs and measured drawings is essential for our most significant buildings. 3-D laser scanning and photogrammetry should be utilized.


Brian Broadus, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Senior Project Director

How did you pick up the practice of architecture in historic preservation?

What is the project you’re most proud of?

What role does technology play in preservation?

What’s the most interesting story you uncovered about a project that you worked on?

An infirmary from 1858 led me into scientific literature surrounding the miasma theory of disease and taught me about Florence Nightingale and the origins of professional nursing.

I also bumped into the last known photograph of Edgar Allen Poe and the man who took it.

Last known photograph of Edgar Allen Poe photograph
Image courtesy of Brian Broadus, AIA

What are the biggest challenges in preservation today?


Sean Stewart
Interior Design, Preservation

What is the project you are most proud of and why?

What is your favorite historic place to visit?

What do you think is the purpose of historic preservation?

The purpose of Historical Preservation is to preserve sites, structures, or districts that had an impact on history. To me, it is the practice of preserving and rehabilitating old historic structures so that they are economically stable in today’s world.

Why should developers prioritize the reuse of old buildings?


Dalton Kline
Interior Design, Preservation

How did you end up specializing in historic preservation?

What is your favorite historic place to visit?

It’s a tie between New Orleans and the basement of any historic building. I love New Orleans because it is a true blending of dissimilar and potent cultures.

I love basements because they are often the last thing altered in a historic building. So, that means that they are often the closest thing to original left in a building. Basements are dirty, cold, damp and dark. It’s the absolute best place to go.

Have you ever had a paranormal experience working on a project?

What do you think is the purpose of historic preservation?

To preserve history to ensure the survival and growth of our heritage.

What is your vision for the future of the historic preservation movement?

Why should developers prioritize reuse of old buildings?

Because age is an asset, not a hindrance. Viewing age as a hindrance makes for terrible design and a disappointing life.

What can we learn from tragic burning of the Cathedral Notre Dame Paris?


Martha Ross, RA
Senior Project Director

What is your favorite historic place to visit?

Copenhagen as the city has maintained most of its historic fabric by re-purposing the interiors and by doing so has maintained the character of the city from the past but promoted the usefulness of the city for the present.

What is something new you learned this week?

A Johnson Glass House + a Wright Overhang + a 1960’s Fleischman school entrance does not = a compatible addition to a 1889-1922 building!

Why should developers prioritize the reuse of old buildings?

What can we learn from the tragic burning of the Cathedral Notre Dame Paris?

Prospect Yard: Paying Homage to Cleveland’s Automotive History

Prospect Yard Rendering
Rendering of Prospect Yard, coming soon

Once upon a time, Cleveland was known as the epicenter of the automotive industry. By the early 20th century, Cleveland was home to seven major car manufacturers and added many industry innovations, including the spark ignition, flexible steering column, and various engine types. This formative period in Cleveland’s automotive manufacturing heyday was also when Frank E. Stuyvesant established the Stuyvesant Motor Co. and later became the primary Cleveland distributor for the merged Hudson-Stuyvesant Motor Car Company. Such an enterprise required a facility that could sell and service these high-end vehicles, which is where our story begins. 

Located on Prospect Avenue within Downtown Cleveland’s current “Campus District” stands the historic former Stuyvesant Motor Company building. Constructed in 1917, the building was originally built as a sales showroom, service center, garage, and storage facility for the manufacturer’s cars. Prior to the eventual dominance of the “big three” (Ford, Chrysler, General Motors), the Stuyvesant Motor Co. embodies the shift from small, local automotive manufacturer to the larger assembly-line based corporations whose legacy remains in today’s brands. Within a local framework, the building significantly contributed to the manufacturing, service, and support of automobiles, and represents the rise and decline of small, independent auto manufacturers in Cleveland. Expansion of the four-story building to its existing five stories in 1919 underscores the significance of this company as other local manufacturers failed. 

After the Great Depression, the Stuyvesant Motor Company Building became home to various other businesses associated with the automobile industry and service functions until the late 1930s. The building was then occupied by the Coast Guard, the U.S. Government and even a print shop until it sat vacant for decades.

Stuyvesant Motor Company building circa 1964

Today, the historic property is undergoing a substantial rehabilitation to begin its new life as Prospect Yard, scheduled to be completed early this summer. The adaptive reuse project started out as a conversion to “market rate” housing. The developer recognized that many Cleveland residents were being displaced by the volumes of new work downtown and lack of affordable housing options in the area. The project then became “income eligible” housing to offer affordable options to those in the service industries who are essential to the life of Cleveland’s retail, hospitality, and even health care industries.

The open, industrial layout of the Stuyvesant Motor Co. building lends itself well to its rebirth as housing. It also serves as a prime example of how historic preservation and adaptive reuse can address the housing affordability crisis occurring in cities nationwide. Additionally, the original and restored features of the building give the apartments a high-end, industrial loft feel not often accessible to residents in modern affordable housing developments.

Among the restored features are the original car lift elevator, covered underground parking once used for car storage, exposed interior concrete columns, and joist and slab ceilings. Throughout the building, original exterior masonry materials, including window sills, brick pilasters, and stone ornament remain intact.

Prospect-yard-Windows-Cleveland-Ohio
Under construction: The original giant steel sash windows flood the new apartment units with natural light and views of Downtown Cleveland.

Arguably, the most striking feature of the entire project is the giant steel sash windows framing views of the Cleveland skyline and flooding the apartments with natural light.

The original features and structure of Prospect Yard make it a unique property steeped in local history. In its new role, The Stuyvesant Motor Company building retains the rich history and memorable characteristics of Cleveland’s automobile industry. 

Stay tuned for more details and updates on the completion of Prospect Yard. In the meantime, check out our other historic preservation work


Have a historic fixer-upper begging for a new life? Get in touch, we’d love to help.

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Perspectus Project Wins Award At Celebration of Preservation

Perspectus Project for City of Massillon Honored With Excellence in Preservation Education Award

May 23, 2018 – Perspectus Historic Architecture, Chambers, Murphy & Burge Studio, was recognized last night at the Celebration of Preservation hosted by AIA Cleveland and the Cleveland Restoration Society for their work on Design Guidelines for the Massillon Downtown Historic District. The project won the award for Excellence in Preservation Education.

Perspectus-Architecture-Massillon-Design-Guidelines

Principals Elizabeth Corbin Murphy, Larry Fischer, and Peter Bohan attended last night’s event. Design Guidelines provide citizens and property owners with the historical context of their community and illustrate the types of buildings that represent the city’s unique past and instill a sense of pride. The Guidelines highlight different types and styles of buildings found in the community and describe the historic values, influences, and features that are associated with each. Describing proper maintenance of historic materials, the Guidelines provide helpful information to property owners on metal work, brick and stone masonry, windows and doors, and roofing and rainwater systems.

For more on Design Guidelines, click here.