The Mount Horeb Landmarks Foundation, Inc. was awarded a $7,350 grant by the National Trust for Historic Preservation from its Wisconsin Projects Fund. Grant money, along with funds from the Mount Horeb Community Foundation, supported the costs of an Historic Structures Report.
The HSR provides a firm direction and guidelines for restoration of the schoolhouse insuring that work is done in an historically correct manner. The document was prepared by Art Chadek Architectural Services, LLC, an AIA architect specializing in historic structures. The report outlines the history of the school and the way it should be restored for the intended uses following code requirements. The structural integrity of the building was evaluated by a local engineer, Larry Soltis, who donated his work, and by William Dries Associates from Middleton, who provided evaluation at a reduced fee.
Historic preservation and adaptive-use is a particular skill of Art Chadek’s firm, and the report includes historic research, the building condition assessment and preservation recommendations based on the Secretary of Interior Standards and National Park Service requirements for historic buildings. Art Chadek has worked on many historic preservation projects, including the Milton House in Milton, The Little White Schoolhouse in Ripon, and the Wisconsin State Capitol east wing restoration.
We also thank Pete Riphahn for his advice and donated work on the bell tower project.
Lead Region Historic Trust was contacted to reconstruct a new bell tower but lacked accurate drawings to work from. A member of the community who had just completed a project designed by Design Coalition Architect's historical restoration expert, Mark Hinrichs, recommended contacting him about putting together detailed drawings. Mark studied old photos provided by MHLF as well as investigated the old schoolhouse building, looking for signs of telltale marks and shadows on the “Cream City” brick, in order to faithfully reproduce the original bell tower and door canopy. Retired structural engineer, Don Frederick, was recruited to assist with the design of major structural reinforcements in the roof and front wall of the schoolhouse so they would carry the weight of the bell tower and door canopy. Mark knew that Don was well qualified, having previously designed the structural reinforcements for the UW-Madison's historic Bascom Hall, to allow it's once prominent rooftop dome to be be rebuilt. Don was also involved in the structural renovation of the historic Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee. A majority of Mark and Don's hours for putting together the final restoration design drawings were donated.
A drywall ceiling and lighting have been installed in the lower level of the schoolhouse. We now look forward to boiler funding for the in floor heating system to complete this spacious event space.
With the renovation of the 1919 Academy Street school beginning, opportunity was given to the Mount Horeb Area Historical Society and The Mount Horeb Landmarks Foundation to salvage relevant pieces from the interior before demolition begins. Landmarks Foundation was grateful to acquire a library table, art room shelving, chalk ledge for the wall slate and coat room hooks. Pieces of history continue on inside the District #1 Schoolhouse.
The lower level of the District #1 School is almost finished! We now have a restroom and kitchen area and a nice spacious area for events. It is useable but to entirely complete the area we are in need of funds for a pressed ceiling and a boiler for the in floor heat.
As you can read in our 12/24/09 posting, the papers were signed giving ownership of the District #1 School to the Mount Horeb Landmarks Foundation. It came complete with a mortgage and still many projects to be completed as well as a whole list of programs we hope to start. We are implementing Sponsorship for the school building and hope to have the opportunity to share with you how you might be able to help us with this new endeavor to make this building available for community use.
Papers were signedon Christmas Eve at the office of Mark Rooney, Attorney for MHLF, after an agreement with the Village of Mount Horeb to transfer ownership title of the 1889 District #1School house to Mount Horeb Landmarks Foundation.
1919 Claude and Starck Building Nomination
The Academy Street Historic Nomination is now complete. A Public Forum which will be led by Tim Heggland is forthcoming. Date TBA. A special thank you goes to each of you who contributed funds to complete this project.
The Mount Horeb Landmarks Foundation was organized to identify and advance awareness of landmarks of historical significance in Mount Horeb and support the restoration and preservation of these landmarks for the benefit of the general public. The Foundation has saved, documented, and is restoring the 1889 District Number One School for the benefit of the community. Donations can be sent to the Mount Horeb Landmarks Foundation, Inc., 138 E Main St, Mount Horeb, WI 53572. The Landmarks Foundation is a 501c3 non profit organization and donations are tax deductible.
It was a special day at the end of April 2007 when the dream of seeing the bell tower on the District Number 1 School became a reality. The team of Lead Region Historic Trust was hired to replicate the original tower which had been removed not long after the school went into private ownership. McCutchin Crane Service lifted the newly constructed tower complete with bell into place. It was a tender moment for sisters Rose Klir and Mary Curtis, former one room school teachers, who donated the bell and heard it ring for the first time in it's new home after the tower was safely positioned.
The above files are movie clips, the tower file is several minutes long, please be patient while files upload for viewing
Special thanks goes to Midwest Prototyping for giving the tower a safe haven until the installation and to Sherwin-Williams of Madison for graciously donating all of the paint for the project.
Lead Region Historic Trust also replicated the canopy over the front door of the building and continues working on interior renovation work.