Track 4: Diversity, Population Change, and Gentrification in the Preservation Dialogue
Creating accessibility within the confines of a historic structure while also maintaining historic integrity is a difficult but necessary modern design challenge. When envisioning improvements to a historically significant structure, every design decision impacts the overall success of the project. From the initial conceptual strategies to the execution of details, all aspects of the design contribute to the success of the accessibility intervention in a historic structure.
The Old Courthouse in St. Louis, Missouri marks the location of critical court cases in our nation’s history. The recent public-private partnership to enliven and restore Gateway Arch National Park includes accessibility improvements to the Old Courthouse that must follow the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards. Which of the treatment options provided for within the Standards are most appropriate for this (and other) historic monuments? How can new accessibility improvements expand beyond designing for code requirements to a broader perspective of universal design? These are critical questions designers must answer in order to preserve history while providing access to all.
Utilizing the Old Courthouse as a case study, the session will explore two fully developed designs illustrating the differentiation between Rehabilitation and Preservation Standards.