Traditional Building Conference


Traditional Building Conference Series

The Creative Crossroads: Makers, Innovators, and Tradition

St. Paul, MN

317 On Rice Park
317 Washington Street
St. Paul, MN 55102


Choice of one educational session available as an a la carte selection for $159
Space is limited for both. Reserve early.

Jackson Street Roundhouse
Jackson Street Roundhouse, Minnesota Transportation Museum, St. Paul, Minnesota

9:00 am - 4:00 pm - Introduction to Historic Building Assessments


Speaker: James J. Malanaphy, AIA, Historical Architect, St. Paul, Minnesota

Location: The Powerhouse and Engine House on Jackson Street- Minnesota Transportation Museum

Course Description

This hands-on investigation of two of the historic structures at the Minnesota Transportation Museum takes participants to a building where they will analyze its site, structure, systems, and finishes. Recommendations for its future use, treatment, and interpretation will be developed to enhance the long life and loose fit of historic structures. You learn by doing. Your recommendations will be shared with the building owner for the stewardship of the selected structure.

The Engine House and Power House at the Jackson Street Shops are currently used as the Minnesota Transportation Museum. They are part of a 13 building complex listed on the National Register and documented by HABS in the 1980s. Original drawings are available for the properties, and so are the construction documents for the 1990s rehabilitation.

NOTE: Morning coffee and lunch will be provided. Participants will meet at the selected location. Transportation will be provided back to the conference headquarters at the end of the session via taxi or public transit if one’s own vehicle is not available.

Learning Objectives

  • Conduct an historic building assessment as developed by the National Park Service and AIA Historic Resources Committee;
  • Assemble an interdisciplinary team qualified to conduct an historic building assessment;
  • Use conditions assessment to plan for short-term repairs, code compliance with International Building Code, accessibility needs, and long-term maintenance of historic structures;
  • List key maintenance and rehabilitation efforts and describe repairs on an element by element basis that lead to sustainability of historic building fabric.

9:00 am - 4:00 pm - Historic Sites in St. Paul: a Bus and Walking Tour

Sponsored by Marvin Windows and Doors


Speakers: Peter Sussman, Architect, and Tim Quigley, Architect, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Course Description

This tour provides an overview of architecturally significant buildings in St. Paul, Minnesota. The architects leading the tour will discuss preservation, adaptive reuse, window repair and replacement, urban revitalization, mechanical systems, and building craft detail. Participants will see or tour buildings by Holabird and Root; Solon S. Berman; Cass Gilbert; Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson; Clarence Johnson; Purcell and Elmslie; Edwin Lundie, Peabody and Sterns; and Emmanuel Masqueray. Participants will visit the Minnesota Capitol, James J. Hill Library, a colonial revival style home and the St. Paul Cathedral. Participants will explore the following neighborhoods: Downtown, Capitol District, Cathedral Hill, Summit Avenue, and Crocus Hill.

Organ CaseLearning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  • Describe historic preservation and adaptive reuse work on residential, commercial, and institutional projects in St. Paul.
  • Experience first-hand and debate with each other the design solutions and methods and materials used to preserve at least four historic buildings and five historic neighborhoods.
  • Explain window repair and replacement choices, accessibility solutions, code compliance and restoration of craft details at the five historic buildings to be visited on the tour.
  • Discuss the history of architecture in St. Paul and apply lessons learned during the tour about the preservation and adaptive reuse of buildings and neighborhoods to their work in other communities.

The organ case for the St. Paul Cathedral commissioned to commemorate the Cathedral’s centennial in 2015. Duncan Stroik Architects, South Bend, Indiana, received a Palladio Award for the design this year.

Tour assembly instructions: Please assemble at 317 Rice Park ( street address is 317 Washington St) no later than 8:45 am for a 9 am departure. There is a lot of walking but we can accommodate people with disabilities, please contact Judy Hayward at 802 674-6752 or so we can plan accordingly.

Photo: Tim Schindler


First Day of Conference:

8:00 am - Continental Breakfast and Networking with Sponsors

9:00 am - 9:15 am - Welcome and Introductions


9:15 am - Noon (one break will be taken) - TBC158 Makers, Innovators, and Tradition

Speaker: Stephen A. Mouzon, AIA , LEED-AP, CNU, and Principal, Mouzon Design, Miami, FL; and author, New Media for Designers + Builders and The Original Green

2.5 AIA HSW Learning Units

Course Description

Across the globe, collaborative work environments are springing up in small towns and big cities. It is possible to find a robot maker in one space and a traditional woodworker in the next, a graphic artist side by side with a knitter or a computer geek about to launch the next big idea. It is an economic engine playing out in adapted historic buildings and new buildings. Creative class entrepreneurs need code-compliant private and collaborative spaces. They seek certain amenities in their neighborhoods and are often dependent on transit-oriented or pedestrian-friendly transportation networks. Historically, economies of scale were achieved when large companies located near one another; this model permits small businesses to achieve similar economies of scale by sharing equipment and ideas in settings built or adapted with collaboration in mind.

How do these work environments alter neighborhoods? What types of architectural design, electrical and lighting systems, and infrastructure are needed to support their work? How does urbanism - new and old - support this career choice? What types of residences serve the needs of this new creative class? How does it challenge construction, historic preservation and architects in their work? This session will look at the philosophy of the creative class, examine some case studies of maker spaces, and conclude with discussion and a design exercise for attendees on adapting a space for such needs.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain the architectural design qualities that comprise maker spaces and their respectful mix of traditions and innovations.
  • Work with clients to design and construct maker spaces in both historic and new buildings.
  • Discuss code compliance strategies when integrating private and public working spaces for collaborative built environments.
  • Consider the sustainable nature of the work environment: its setting, pedestrian friendly access, long-life and loose fit of the space, for example.


12:15 pm - 1:15 pm - Lunch and Networking with Sponsors


1:15 pm - 2:15 pm - TBC 166 Multiple Building Historic Sites: Planning for Preservation

Speakers: James J. Malanaphy, III, AIA, Architecture Planning and Preservation, St. Paul, MN and Charles D. Liddy, FAIA, Miller Dunwiddie Architecture, Minneapolis, MN

1 AIA HSW Learning Unit

Course Description

Whether a project is an historic campus, a group of industrial buildings unused for years, or a complex of buildings with multiple uses that served one owner historically, planning for reuse requires a thorough understanding of the buildings' relationships to each other. This course will examine the evaluation of historic buildings and landscapes for continued or adaptive reuse in light of contemporary demands. Codes, environmental matters, structural concerns, and user amenities will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:

  • List the essential elements of historic structures reports for multi-building historic settings.
  • Prioritize character defining relationships between buildings that must be saved to protect historic character and setting.
  • Evaluate construction planning either to phase projects over time or for simultaneous rehabilitation of historic buildings in close proximity.
  • Work with clients to better respect the end users' needs for parking, pedestrian amenities, lighting, fitness and flexible work spaces to name a few concerns.

2:15 pm - 2:45 pm - Break


2:45 pm - 4:15 pm - TBC161 Historic Preservation and Life Safety


Speakers: Angela Wolf Scott, AIA, LEED-AP; MacDonald & Mack, Architects, Minneapolis, Minnesota and Scott Nesvold, PE, Crane Engineering and Building Science, Plymouth, Minnesota

Improving life safety while preserving the integrity of a historic building is a demanding and increasingly important challenge that many architects face. This program will follow one successful case study from beginning to end while providing a general tool-kit for other projects that face such challenges. Featured topics will include the importance of assembling a cohesive team of professionals, quantifiably assessing the life safety opportunities and challenges in historic buildings, understanding your fire code and viable alternatives, and developing a plan of action.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the opportunities and challenges of life safety in historic buildings (including historic materials, assemblies, and spatial arrangements).
  • Develop a fire life safety plan using both applicable codes and alternative resources.
  • List methods for researching and testing historic buildings as applicable to fire life safety.
  • Assemble a team of the professionals and stakeholders that are involved in a successful fire life safety rehabilitation.

4:15 pm - 4:30 pm - Comments and Questions

4:30 pm - 5:30 pm - Networking Reception


Second Day of Conference:

8:00 am - Continental Breakfast and Networking with Sponsors

9:00 am - 9:15 am - Welcome and Introductions


9:15 am - 10:45 am - TBC162 Tax Credits and Historic Preservation

Speaker: Meghan Elliott, Preservation Design Works, LLC

1 AIA HSW Learning Unit

Federal historic rehabilitation tax incentives have leveraged more than $69 billion dollars in private investment since 1976. The history of old buildings is receiving new attention in many U.S. states, which, like Minnesota, have enacted state rehabilitation tax credit programs within the last five to ten years. When combined with federal rehabilitation tax credits, state-level incentives are encouraging property owners and developers to consider more carefully the economic value of older buildings and the financial feasibility of their preservation and adaptive reuse. This session offers answers to three important questions: 1) Which buildings are eligible for rehabilitation tax incentives? 2) How do preservation design standards influence the programming of new uses for old buildings? 3) What opportunities exist for preservation trades and product manufacturers to contribute to the success of historic rehabilitation projects that leverage preservation tax incentives?
Using case studies, this session will provide an overview of the Federal and Minnesota state preservation tax incentives programs. The presenter will examine the relationship between the developer, the preservation consultant, the architect, and the contractor for such projects. Examples of common problems and solutions illustrating design constraints, containing costs, acceptable rehabilitation work, and project timing and collaboration among the development team and regulatory agencies will be discussed and illustrated.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the magnitude of tax-incentivized historic rehabilitation in Minnesota and the United States in terms of projects completed, dollars invested, and jobs created
  • Identify projects eligible for historic tax credits, and describe the application processes at the state and federal levels
  • Develop rehabilitation designs for historic buildings that are better able to meet the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation
  • Contribute to required documentation for projects involving historic tax credits


10:45 am - 11:15 am - Break

11:15 am - 12:15 pm - TBC151 Street Design: The Secret to Great Cities and Towns

Speaker: John Massengale, AIA, Architect and Author

1 AIA HSW Learning Unit

Street DesignCourse Description

John Massengale will illustrate how to fix America's neighborhoods, cities, and towns and make them walkable again. That begins with great streets where people want to be, streets that are comfortable, safe, and interesting. The lecture is based on Street Design, The Secret to Great Cities Towns (Wiley, 2014) by Massengale and Victor Dover, two accomplished architects and urban designers. The program will share insights on how good street design can increase happiness, unlock economic value, improve our health and lower our carbon footprints.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define the relationship between great streets, buildings and cities and why this relationship is crucial to human fulfillment.
  • Compare and Contrast the concepts of” Complete Streets” and” Completer Streets.”
  • Explain the qualities of walkable streets and how this contributes to great city planning and building when true sustainability is the ultimate goal.
  • Avoid mistakes in applying street standards and regulations from the recent past and note how many laws have worked against walkability and placemaking and have harmed the health of people and the cities they inhabit.

12:15 pm - 1:15 pm - Lunch


1:15 pm - 2:15 pm - Clay Tile Roofing and Large Historic Buildings- Materials, Methods, and Project Tour

Speaker: David Millard, Group4 Reps, Minneapolis, MN and others TBA

1 AIA HSW Learning Unit

Clay tiles have been used for roofing for thousands of years because of durability, color, and availability. This session will feature a brief lecture and PowerPoint presentation on best practices for selection and installation of clay tile roofing on historic preservation projects. We will take a three-minute walk to the historic Landmark Center to learn about the restoration of its clay tile roof. Bring your binoculars and wear comfortable shoes.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe how clay tile is made and installed for long-lasting performance
  • Plan for large-scale institutional historic preservation projects involving clay tile roofs
  • List sustainability and durability features of this traditional roofing material.
  • Consider scaffolding and rigging requirements for large- scale historic roofing projects.

2:15 pm - 2:45 pm - Break


2:45 pm - 4:15 pm - Marble, Mechanicals and the Minnesota Capitol


Speakers: Michael Bjornberg, FAIA; Hammel, Green, and Abrahamson, Minneapolis, MN and Robert D. Loversidge, Jr., FAIA, Principal; Schooley Caldwell Associates, Columbus, OH

Minnesota Historical Society
Photo Credit: Minnesota Historical Society

“When its white dome first swims into view there is a shock of surprise, then a rapidly growing delight in its pure beauty, and as one studies the building, inside and out, the surprise and delight increase. One leaves it with regret and with the hope of return.”
- Kenyon Cox, Architectural Record, August 1905.

The State of Minnesota is undertaking a three- year, $272 Million restoration of its Beaux Arts style capitol. Opened in 1905, the building was designed by Cass Gilbert (1859- 1934). It is distinguished by having the second largest dome in the world, 16 types of stone and significant sculpture and murals throughout the building. After more than 100 years in service, the time has come to address crumbling marble, life safety for the 21st century, the replacement of antiquated mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems, and inefficient spaces. Two of the architects leading the restoration effort will share their work to balance historic preservation with contemporary demands for legislative work and public spaces.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain why guiding principles like those developed for this large-scale historic preservation project are important for decision-making throughout project implementation.
  • Apply lessons learned about integrating new mechanical systems into important historic settings with significant architectural finish and character defining sculpture and murals.
  • Discuss the process of integrating new marble into areas of severe deterioration for a significant historic building.
  • Reflect on the strategies for accessibility and fire prevention and suppression and apply them to other historic public buildings.


4:15 pm - 4:30 pm - Wrap-up and Evaluations




Learning Units:
For more information on Learning Units, click here.

The Traditional Building Conference Series is a registered provider of AIA continuing education units and it has applied for education provider status with the Green Building Council Insititute. Credits for NARI, AIBD, and certain NAHB classifications are available. We plan to submit the programs for review for IDCEC credits as well. Check the website for updates on specific learning units for each conference. Typically the event is approved for 10 learning units but more or less is possible and classifications for HSW and SD are approved based on the content for each conference.


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