Innovative or Unusual Reuse

Start Date
End Date
There comes a time when stakeholders must make important decisions in a historic building's life to determine how or if the building's 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 its 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.
Buffalo, NY
Distance Learning
Course Equivalency
Historic Preservation
Health, Safety and Welfare
Learning Outcomes
Identify why a deconstruction ordinance is a more effective policy tool for implementing deconstruction than a municipal waste restriction, from the perspective of historic preservation.

Identify several alternative opportunities to extend a historic building's life in lieu of demolition when the building's usefulness and condition appears to be nearing the end of its lifespan.

Define the term “controlled ruination” and how it is applied in the field of heritage conservation.

Organize a qualified a project reconstruction team to develop a building disaster analysis strategy.
Jonathan Spodek
Website Registration
Course Codes
Association for Preservation Technology International

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