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Traditional Building Conference Princeton: Full Schedule

Wednesday, July 18

8 - 9 am Breakfast, Registration and Networking

9 - 9:15 am Welcome and Introductions

9:15 - 10:15 am TBCP01 Spalling, Rust and Rot: Why Traditional Materials Perform the Way They Do

1 AIA HSW Learning Unit

Speaker: Ray Tschoepe, Director of Conservation, Fairmont Park Conservancy, Philadelphia, PA

By the time many of us see the deterioration in an architectural element it is usually too late. We are left to wonder why that stone is spalling or why the metal has already begun to rust badly. By taking a close-up look at the material, its design, and its finishes, we can better understand the process that begins microscopically the moment the wood, metal, or stone is put in service. This understanding will help us design strategies that can interrupt the deterioration process sometimes before it starts. Learn why certain materials fail in some environments while others last for decades.

Learning Objectives:

  • Consider the underlying structure and chemistry of traditional building materials.
  • Anticipate initial deterioration processes that precede the visual evidence.
  • Recognize that some traditional materials perform better than others in similar environments.
  • Plan strategies that may help to interrupt the deterioration process and prolong the service life of many materials.

10:15 - 10:45 am Networking Break

10:45 am - 12:15 pm TBCP02 Traditional Takes

More than Sash: Shutters, Storms and Glass (A new session format- 20- minute “short takes” on new work in traditional building-followed by a shared Q&A session.)

1.5 AIA HSW Learning Units


Harry Rembert, New Horizon Shutters International, LLC. Charleston, SC

Dave Martin, President, Allied Window, Cincinnati, OH

Kyle Sword, Business Development Manager, Pilkington North America, Toledo, OH

Successful window performance is dependent on numerous architectural elements. While the sash, casings, sills, and lintels are important, so are glass, storm windows and shutters. This session will explore the vacuum insulated glass for historic and new windows, the role and value of storms for energy efficiency and noise mitigation, and the applications of shutters to appearance and storm response in historic and traditional settings.

Learning Objectives:

  • Select glass, storm windows and shutters for historic and traditional building projects with greater confidence.
  • Compare vacuum insulated glass to other types of glass for installation in traditional and historic buildings.
  • Compare and contrast shutter design, materials, and construction methods for historic and traditional buildings.
  • Explain the energy savings and sustainability benefits of storm windows for historic preservation projects.

12:15 - 1 pm Lunch

1 - 2:45 pm Traditional Takes 2

TBCP03 Clay, Steel, Iron and Stone: Traditional Materials; Contemporary Technology

1.75 AIA HSW Learning Units


Scott Intagliata, Vice President for Marketing, The Unico System, Saint Louis, MO

Scott Lange, Marketing Director, Northeast and Midwest, Ludowici, New Lexington, OH

Douglas Bracken, Wiemann Metalcraft, Tulsa, OK

Laurie Wells, Vice President, Old World Stone

Clay is fashioned into roofing and cladding materials in traditional earth tones and now in a myriad of colors and textures. Steel is fabricated into ductwork for minimally invasive heating and cooling systems making historic buildings comfortable for occupants. Iron is crafted into ornament that pleases the eye and serves important functions inside and outside historic and traditional buildings. Stone is quarried from the earth and shaped with laser precision for restoration and new work. Each of these materials is taken from the earth and each continue in use today. This session will feature brief presentations on each material and how each serves the demands of contemporary building performance, aesthetics, energy, and installation.

  • Increase the protection of historic fabric when installing mechanical equipment in buildings with small duct high velocity systems.
  • Explain how color matching is done successfully and new architectural trends for clay tile.
  • Describe how changes in casting, finishing and forging are giving architects and others more design options today.
  • Apply current processes for templating, cutting and carving stone when both high-tech equipment and traditional hand tools are in use and anticipate the future with improved 3D scanning and robotic milling.

2:45 - 3:15 Break

3:15 - 5:45 Choice of Tour (pre-selection is required):

Tour A

The Eating Clubs of Prospect Avenue

2 AIA HSW Learning Units

Speakers: Clifford Zink, Historic Preservation Consultant and Author, The Princeton Eating Clubs, The Princeton Prospect Foundation, 2017 and James Collins, Architect, Greensboro, NC, Author, introduction for a reprint, A Monograph of the Works of Mellor, Meigs, & Howe, Architectural Book Publishing Company, 2000

Beginning in 1879, the tradition of “Eating Clubs” at Princeton established a social and networking opportunity for students and eventually alumni. Many of the famed clubs are found on Prospect Avenue in Princeton. They feature a microcosm of architectural design found in America as the 19 century turned over into the 20 century. From Tudor Revival to Colonial Revival, the clubs retain a great deal of architectural integrity. This tour will feature exterior explorations of several clubs and some interior visits that are currently in process. The active clubs are independent of Princeton University, but some that are no longer in use as clubs are now owned by the University.

Learning Objectives:

  • List the architects who were commissioned to design the clubs.
  • Explain on-going efforts to preserve and use the eating clubs.
  • Examine in detail the high style interpretations of American architecture found in the clubs.
  • Reflect on the value of the clubs for development of students, life-long networking, and to generate life-long connection to Princeton.

Tour B

Sketching Classicism

2 AIA HSW Learning Units

Leaders: Alvin Holm, Architect, Philadelphia, PA

Note: Alvin Holm was the first recipient of the Clem Labine Award.

Offered in cooperation with the Philadelphia Chapter of ICAA.

Princeton University has some of the finest collegiate Gothic structures in America but it also has some outstanding neoclassical buildings. Under the guidance of architect and classicist Alvin Holm, participants will have the opportunity to draw elements from the first floor interior of Maclean House and exteriors of nearby buildings. Drawing aids the practitioner by studying architectural details, their aesthetics, and function.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain why drawing and drafting by hand still trains the eye despite the predominance of computer-driven design today.
  • Construct architectural details that will function and look better in situ.
  • Design better period-inspired buildings.
  • Compare, contrast, and use hand-drawing and computer-generated design where each serves the architect or artisan best.

Thursday, July 19

8 - 9 am Breakfast, Registration and Networking

9 - 9:15 am Welcome and Introductions

Note: There is a choice of an offsite tour or two sessions on Thursday morning. Please select your choice during registration.

Tour Option

9 am - 12:15 pm Off-site Tour via bus departing from the Nassau Inn at 9 am.

Industrial Adaptation: Roebling Lofts Tour, Trenton, NJ

2 AIA HSW Learning Units

Limited to 25 people Advance Registration Required

The former home of John A. Roebling and Sons Company, Roebling Lofts is an adaptive reuse of the Clark Street Rope Shop in Trenton, NJ. Founded in 1848 by the engineer for the Brooklyn Bridge, John Roebling manufactured metal wire, cable, and rope at this site. The company supplied cables for some of the greatest bridges in the world including the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Wires for the early years of American aviation were made in the fourth floor of what is now Roebling Lofts. The Wright Brothers and Charles Lindbergh were customers. The lofts represent the transformation of American industrial architecture into multi-family residences. The tour will offer a glimpse into the history of the site and the planning and execution of this adaptive reuse.

Learning Objectives:

  • Apply lessons learned from the adaptation of an historic industrial site into multi-family housing.
  • Examine sustainable systems and controls installed in the adapted building.
  • Reflect on accessibility improvements and code compliance strategies for a significant change in use from industrial to residential housing.
  • Appreciate the history of John Roebling, his company, and their contributions to American bridge design and early aviation advancements.

9:15 - 10:45 am The Math and Science of Architectural Beauty 

1.5 AIA HSW Learning Units

Michael Mehaffy, PhD, Moderator and Panelist, Architectural Theorist and Senior Researcher, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden and Executive Director, The Sustasis Foundation, Portland, OR

Panelists: Nikos Salingaros, PhD, Professor of Mathematics, University of Texas, San Antonio, TX; and Donald H. Ruggles, AIA, ICAA, NCARB; Ruggles Mabe Studio, Denver, CO

Note: Dr. Salingaros and Dr. Mehaffy are co-winners of this year’s Clem Labine Award for their work “to create a more humane and beautiful built environment.” They co-authored Design for a Living Planet: Settlement, Science and the Human Future, and Donald Ruggles recently published Beauty, Neuroscience & Architecture, Timeless Patterns and Their Impact on Our Well Being.

Recent developments in neuroscience and mathematical theory have shed new light on architectural aesthetics and urban design and development. This is good news for classicists, traditional architects, and builders because it appears that humans are predisposed toward classical and traditional composition and ornament. If we look beyond the surface of architectural elements, buildings, cities, and suburbs, we can see a comprehensible structure of fractals and other mathematical patterns. This knowledge helps us to design with greater confidence and create buildings and settings that enhance health and well-being for individuals and communities. This session will feature discussion and drawing exercises, so feel free to bring a sketchbook or paper and pencils.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain the concept of biophilia including the impact of plant and animal forms, water, fractals and math on what humans perceive as good design.
  • Select design choices in one’s work based on recognizing patterns in nature.
  • Cite examples of traditional buildings, architectural elements, and communities that exhibit these patterns.
  • Discuss the calming effects of good design and how to integrate them into one’s work.

10:45 – 11:15am Networking Break

11:15 am – 12:15 pm Contemporary Traditionalists: American Residential Design in the 21 Century

1 AIA HSW Learning Unit

Speaker: Phillip James Dodd, Bespoke Residential Design, LLC; Author, and Educator; FICAA, and Fellow, INTBAU College of Practitioners; Greenwich, CT

This session with explore the timeless beauty of classical residential design as practiced in different regions of the Unites States. Driven by vernacular traditions, climate response, and the new realities of how families live in their homes, Dodd makes the case for residential architects to return to an ancient Greek approach to design: let the natural setting dominate. This approach resonates with contemporary clients who gravitate toward protecting and enjoying nature. Dodd will reflect on how he integrates traditional and classical details when clients desire open concept living plans. He discusses what he can design for exteriors that work well within the traditional settings but have interiors that serve the needs of modern families, couples and individuals.

Learning Objectives:

  • Consider allowing new traditional building designs to be secondary to natural settings.
  • Find inspiration in vernacular building traditions for each region of the United States when designing new homes.
  • Explain what is essential to maintain when working within a classical or traditional vocabulary for residential design.
  • Apply lessons learned from regional vernacular traditions to design buildings that are responsive to given regional climates.

12:15 - 1:15 pm Lunch

1:15 - 2:15 pm TBCP08 Cleveland Tower and Princeton’s High Reach Masonry Program

Speakers: David Howell, AIA, Program Manager for Standards and Special Projects, Office of Design and Construction, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ and Michael Mills, FAIA, Partner, Mills+Schnoering Architects, LLC 

1 AIA HSW Learning Unit

The Princeton University campus has some of the finest examples of Collegiate Gothic Style in the United States, among them the famed Cleveland Tower. In the 1990’s, a multi-disciplinary team assembled to assess and analyze deteriorated conditions of the carved limestone and local was ashlar stone comprising the tower structure. Recommendations for repairing these elements were implemented in a comprehensive restoration of the tower that, in due course, included analysis and replacement of the entire Carillon bell structure. This presentation will discuss the project teamwork along with all aspects of the renovation process, featuring archive footage of the Carillon replacement, the fourth-largest carillon in the United States. It will also focus on how the original stone materials have endured the test of time and how the interventions will help sustain Cleveland Tower through the current century.

Learning Objectives:

  • Use lessons learned from a comprehensive planning effort to preserve large historic structures on a collegiate campus.
  • Select diagnostic tools to analyze deterioration commonly found on historic masonry structures.
  • Recommend treatment strategies for masonry structures that feature multiple stories or large character-defining architectural elements.
  • Anticipate problems and solutions for rigging and logistics when repairing large masonry structures at elevation.

2:15 - 3:15 pm Collegiate Gothic Repurposed: The Julis Rabinowitz Building and Louis A. Simpson International Building, formerly 20 Washington Road

1 AIA HSW Learning Unit

Speakers: Lorine Murray-Mechini, Senior Project Manager, Princeton University; Princeton, NJ and David Jesson, Senior Associate, KPMB, Toronto, Canada

This project embodies Princeton’s vision to evolve its campus as a supportive, collegial, interconnected platform for the continual cultivation of a vibrant intellectual community. Situated on the seam where the historic west campus meets the contemporary east campus, the plan pays special attention to the placement of entrances and circulation systems to create flows between people and services, architecture and landscape, and past and present to shape an interdisciplinary future. Economics fronts onto Washington Road, balancing faithful restoration and contemporary interventions in the form of three glazed rooftop pavilions. A new stone/glass entrance/atrium for International Initiatives opens onto Scudder Square, setting the building in conversation with the Freedom Fountain and the Woodrow Wilson School, and completing one of Princeton’s iconic outdoor spaces of engagement.

Substantial rehabilitation that protects the historic character of the exterior and primary interior areas reinforces Princeton University’s commitment to evolving its physical campus through the preservation and adaptive reuse of its existing resources. Work involved the re-imagination of a heritage collegiate gothic building designed by Day and Klauder and constructed in 1929. Together with the rejuvenated Beatrix Farrand landscape, the project gave the university a unique opportunity to upgrade the sustainability of the building.

Designed to LEED Gold standards, this project offers a model for a sustainable design by combining heritage preservation and contemporary interventions. Eighty-six percent of the existing building was repurposed, and all new additions set within the existing footprint. New high efficiency mechanical/electrical systems and the insulation of the heritage masonry walls improve thermal performance. A series of new atrium spaces and light wells, along with a strategic plan order, optimize access to views and natural daylighting to provide a high quality indoor environment for the 564 daily users. Bicycle racks and shower facilities promote alternative transit.

Originally constructed as a Chemistry Laboratory, now its purpose is to serve as an interdisciplinary research and learning hub for the Department of Economics and a number of International programs.

Learning Objectives:

  • Consider adaptive reuse for integrated educational and social settings
  • Recall methods for transforming an insular building and connecting it to the campus
  • Reflect on the preservation strategies and contemporary architecture interventions for a large-scale adaptive use project in a campus setting.
  • Repurpose a historic building with current sustainability practices.

3:15 - 3:45 pm Networking Break

3:45 - 5:15 pm TBCP10 The Julis Rabinowitz Building and Louis A. Simpson International Building

1 AIA HSW Learning Units

Tour Leaders: Lorine Murray-Mechini, Senior Project Manager, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ and David Jesson, Senior Associate, KPMB, Toronto, Canada

After hearing the presentation, participants will depart to view the building. The tour is designed to reinforce key points made during the presentations. An extensive adaptive reuse project was completed in 2017 on the Julis Rabinowitz Building and Louis A. Simpson International Building. The University took full advantage of the project to improve the building’s long-term sustainability, meet program and institutional goals, and repurpose the 197,000-sf building for a new use.

Learning Objectives:

  • Reflect on the preservation strategies and contemporary architecture interventions for a large-scale adaptive use project in a campus setting.
  • Repurpose a historic building with current sustainability practices.
  • Explore methods for transforming an insular building and connecting it to the campus.
  • Consider the importance of integrated settings for a University’s educational and social goals when planning for adaptive reuse or new construction in a campus setting.