University of Wisconsin Armory (“The Red Gym”)

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Madison, WI

Client: The University of Wisconsin

Project Type: Interior and Exterior Restoration; Masonry Restoration; Historic Structure Report; Feasibility Study; Adaptive Use Study; Construction Documents

The massive, red brick masonry Armory and Gymnasium, with its stepped gables and battlemented turrets, is a National Historic Landmark and has been a significant feature of the University of Wisconsin campus since it was built in 1892.

Based on extensive historical research and analysis of the building, the firm prepared a historic structure report and feasibility study documenting the building’s history, its existing condition, and the problems of repair of its elements and materials. The report recommended procedures for restoring the building and sensitive approaches to adapting it for reuse. The Getty Grant program provided funding for a more detailed analysis of the building’s exterior masonry.

To restore and adapt the Armory for use as the new “Gateway to the University,” JGWA prepared construction documents for restoring the brickwork, patching and replacing deteriorated sandstone, restoring historic wood windows and doors, and restoring interior finishes. The firm also worked with a local architect to ensure that alterations of the major spaces required for the new uses were reversible and that upgraded mechanical and electrical systems were sensitively inserted into the historic structure.