Anderson Arts Center

Project Background

The Anderson Arts Center (NRHP #88002022) is a cultural and recreational facility along the shores of Lake Michigan. Built in 1929 as in the French Renaissance Revival style and occupying over 9,000 square feet, the museum is part of the Kemper Center. The building was challenged with leaking roofs, walls, windows, and a deteriorating interior, and needed functional upgrades to meet the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).


Rigorous building survey to understand the existing conditions

Historic research and materials testing to understand original historic details and construction

Exterior Building restoration including roofs, walls, windows

Interior building rehabilitation with restored historic plaster

Reviewed building functionality and code compliance

New Toilet facilities within the historic structure

Entire replacement and dedicated coordination of all mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, technology infrastructure in a historic building

Preservation and restoration of the site.

Followed the Secretary of the Interior Standards Guidelines for Rehabilitation and the Preservation Brief recommendations for the various building materials.

Submitted for compliance with the State of WI SHPO


The exterior envelope was restored to be watertight, replacement of missing components and original details, and bring back the grandeur of the historic mansion. Special coordination was provided to seamlessly integrate the mechanical, electrical, technology, plumbing, and fire protection while preserving the integrity of the historic interior and plaster restoration. The team utilized geothermal heating and cooling infrastructure to preserve the site and keep it free of equipment. The design team delivered a comprehensive project that rehabilitated this historic building while meeting modern function for a state- of-the-art museum.

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Stone /​Brick /​Clay Tile Roof /​Copper deconstruction/​restoration

Upgrading the building for sensitive Museum exhibits and modern amenities

Integrated new infrastructure into an historic mansion

Geothermal heating and cooling added – a collaboration with Salas O’ Brien Company for MEP

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In addition to bringing a high degree of technical expertise and thoroughness to these projects — one of the most critical skills ICA brings to the table, is their ability to develop extremely thorough project bid specifications.”

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Photo by E&M Photography