explores educational center
(September 2007) Madison, Ind.s prestigious
National Historic District Landmark status designation has helped attract
a potential historic preservation education center to the Ohio River
town. New owners of the 90,000-square-foot historic building formerly
known as the Eagle Cotton Mill, or Meese Building, plan to use part
of the space for a preservation education center.
by Don Ward
former Meese building is being
cleaned up by the new owners to make
way for a mixed-use residential
and commercial development.
It was the tremendous efforts, both administrative
and physical, that helped Madison get the designation, said preservationist
Bob Przewlocki. He, along with partner David Landau of Michigan City,
Ind., bought the building in late June.
We feel Madison has a progressive community for Historic preservation
and is a good spot for incubating talent.
Przewlocki and Landau have planned an extensive, mixed-used development.
Their plan, to be conducted in two phases, will feature retail and restaurant
space on the first floor and condominiums upstairs.
Plans also include green space, educational classrooms for promoting
historic preservation and a mini-conference center for hosting groups
Although the partners have owned the building for just a few weeks,
they have already begun some necessary cleanup work. They plan to offer
some arts-related events and abbreviated tours of the historic building
during the Sept. 29-30 Madison Chautauqua Festival of Arts. Some of
those events could include preservation or craft related demonstrations
including timber framing. Details have not been finalized.
Przewlocki said it is too premature to discuss anything right now, but
he has been in discussions with various people in Madison about a preservation
education center. At this point, everyone weve talked to
are all for it, but the project is in its infancy.
Currently, he is exploring issues involved in setting up the center,
whether to make it a profit or nonprofit operation, what kind of space
should be set aside for it, and other organizational issues. The actual
classrooms will be centered on a workshop atmosphere.
Przewlocki, 56, has more than 35 years of experience in historic preservation
projects. His background includes studies in drafting and engineering
when he was a student at Boston College. I love architecture and
history, he said.
While in Vermont years ago, he happened upon workers timber framing
I was hooked, he said. He learned the process, and began
his career in historic preservation.
He spent 10 years in Bowling Green, Ky., working on historic buildings
in the area, including a restoration project in a South Union, Ky.,
historic Shaker community.
His company Preservation Trades Inc. of Wayne, Ill., is a full-service,
design and build company specializing in traditional craftsmanship with
sensitivity for the natural and built environments. It employs the latest
methodologies in evaluating, planning, improving and rebuilding historic
structures as established by official guidelines by the U.S. Secretary
of the Interior.
Preservation Trades trains traditional tradesmen, such as carpenters,
painters, framers and masons to do historic work, including restoration,
rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Przewlocki said he is looking forward to working with Madison to establish
a preservation education center. The support everyone has shown
us, including the Mayors office, has been great, he said.
There are lots of buildings in the city that we will be able to
For more information about Preservation
Trades Inc., visit: www.preservationtradesinc.com.
Back to September 2007