Track 1: Decline vs. Revival: Tempering the Impulse to Tear Down and Start Over

CS1.4 Innovative or Unusual Reuse

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: BNCC- 101AH
CE: 1.5

There comes a time when stakeholder must make important decisions in a historic buildings life to determine how or if the buildings life can be extended. What viable options are available? Can or should a building be rehabilitated or restored? Is deconstruction an option to be entertained? Can the ruination process become an acceptable possibility? This session explores several opportunities by sharing case studies of historic buildings at critical decision points in the building’s life. We start with an approach of deconstruction as an alternative to demolition. Following a disastrous fire, the Mercer Building in Omaha was restored/reconstructed, in lieu of demolition, following an evaluation and stabilization of the exterior walls. Outliving is usefulness as coastal beacon, the Nottawasaga Island Lighthouse considers “controlled ruination” as a potential alternative. And finally, two early 20th century auto showrooms combined old-world and 21st century technology to restore the terra cotta facades and rehabilitate these buildings to meet LEED Goad Certification.

This course qualifies for HSW credit with AIA, RCEP and ASLA.

Learning Objectives:


Jonathan Spodek

Jonathan C. Spodek, FAIA, FAPT has over 30 years of experience in the architectural and preservation fields. He currently has a limited architectural practice in Indiana and serves as a Professor of Architecture at Ball State University. As a Professor in the College of Architecture and Planning at Ball State University, he teaches design studios and courses in building technology that include building documentation, historic building construction materials and techniques, and evaluation/diagnostic methods. Mr. Spodek’s research interests focus on non-destructive building evaluation. He has also received several research grants to develop work on using sustainable construction practices on existing/historic housing. His initiatives in academia focusing on building preservation provide a scholarly component to his professional work as an architect.


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Tina M. McCarthy

Boston Architectural College

I began studying the intersection of heritage and sustainability as an undergraduate at Hampshire College. My undergraduate thesis examined the contemporary housing crisis on Native American reservations, focusing on solutions that promoted heritage and self-determination through traditional sustainable building techniques. Inspired by the strength of these connections, I entered the MDS Historic Preservation program at Boston Architectural College, graduating in May of 2018. My Master's thesis explores building deconstruction as a preservation technique, pushing the boundaries of heritage practice and challenging sustainability to account for heritage values. In the future, I hope to continue the interdisciplinary nature of my work through my business, Hilltown Homestead Services. Founded in 2017, our general contracting firm supports the cultural and environmental landscape of rural western Massachusetts, offering construction and restoration services for both residential and agricultural buildings, as well as organic land management consulting. In the future, we hope to add deconstruction to our building preservation services, providing full life-cycle support for the built environment that respects cultural and ecological values while promoting continued agricultural land use.


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Gary R. Bowen

BVH Architecture

Gary Bowen, FAIA is a principal at BVH Architecture in Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska. For over 50 years, Mr. Bowen's career has merged his passion for preservation with design excellence. Having won over 30 AIA design awards for rehabilitation, repurposing, and new projects in Omaha and across the nation, his efforts in promoting the best practices in design, preservation, and professional leadership have led to his induction to the AIA College of Fellows in 1996, and to receipt of the Cunningham Medal, the highest award for the practice of architecture in Nebraska in 2009. He has served as chairman of the Omaha Landmarks Commission and Omaha Landmarks Inc., and served on the AIA national Board of Directors from 1994-96.


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Zeynep Ekim

Intern Architect
E.R.A. Architects

Zeynep holds an M.Arch and a B.Arch from Carleton University. Her graduate thesis examined communal identity and its relationship to the left-over buildings of post-industrial landscapes. She has received the Maxwell Taylor Award for innovation in building technologies and Azrieli Award for Excellency in Graduate Thesis for this research. Her graduate studies also allowed her a semester abroad in Lisbon, Portugal, where she participated in a studio taught by Barbas Lopes Arquitectos. Currently, she is an intern heritage architect at E.R.A Architects working on the rehabilitation of federal heritage buildings in the National Capital Region of Canada.


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Matt Hamel, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

SHKS Architects

Matt is a Preservation Architect from Seattle, WA with over 17 years of experience focusing on rehabilitation, restoration and assessments of local and national historic landmarks for public, non-profit, and private clients in the Pacific Northwest. He has a B.Arch and BS in Building Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His passion for preservation springs from the desire to instill stewardship and history’s resonance through sustainable, vibrant designs.


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CS1.4 Innovative or Unusual Reuse

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