Kregel Windmill Factory

Scope of Work

Renovation

Berggren Architects renovated the Kregel Windmill Factory.

Location

Nebraska City, NE

History

The Kregel Family first occupied the structure in 1902 when they started their windmill factory.

Completion

This project was completed in 2012.

The Challenge

The Kregel Windmill Factory is one of our most unique and challenging preservation projects. Berggren Architects was instructed not to alter or touch any of the factory’s remaining machinery, tools, or artifacts during preservation and renovation. The interior remained dark and cluttered and the smell of oil-soaked wood permeated the air, as if the factory had been operational up until the current day. Iron filings and cakes of spilled grease sat under the lath and other equipment. Tools and essential parts, waiting to be utilized and assembled, laid everywhere. These were all essential elements illustrating the factory’s history and needed to be preserved for the museum’s method of storytelling.

There were multiple issues with building and fire code compliance. The electrical wiring was make-shift and the building featured original and still-functioning “knife” switches. Original knob-and-tube wiring was integrated with Romex wiring. There was no insulation and no apparent place where it could be added since every nook and cranny was being fully utilized. The existing stone foundation did not extend below the frost line which allowed the building to move as the soil expanded and contracted through the seasons.

Our focus was to preserve as much as possible while meeting current code requirements and creating a memorable visitor experience.

There was lots of clutter throughout the building and dust was caked ontop of machines and shelves.

The make-shift Romex electrical wiring ran throughout the entire building and was still operational.

The existing stone foundation length did not extend below the frost depth which would cause the building to move if frost were to extend below the foundation

Notes:

Museum board members agreed with the proposal from the consultants that the Kregel Windmill Factory, which existed for six decades, be interpreted as it appeared in the year 1939. This specific year was chosen as it epitomizes the peak period of windmill manufacturing. Due to the war effort, raw materials for manufacturing became increasingly difficult to acquire. The company would then shift most of its focus to well service and windmill pump repair. very few windmills were manufactured after World War II as the company relied almost exclusively on maintenance and repairs.

An interpretive date of 1939 permits the museum board to retain an exceptionally large proportion of the contents of the factory in place.

 

 

 

Damaged drainage hole on the fountain undergoing repairs & restoration

 

 

 

New, matching terra-cotta to replace the damaged terra-cotta on the fountain

The Strategy

To meet budget constraints, Berggren Architects agreed to the project being completed in multiple phases. Phase one was to be the restoration of the fountain bowls to be watertight, as well as the restoration of its plumbing and lighting system. Phase one was completed in 2020.

The city of Cheyenne then went on to raise funds to intiate phase two which was restoring the terra-cotta mansonry. Berggren Architects assisted with finding a similar stone but after, stepped out due to the expenses of being present in Cheyenne.

 

Notes:

The existing lean-to was reconstructed to house the HVAC, fire sprinklers, and pump equipment. The reconstruction matches the original footprint and is sided with the original metal. This portion of the factory is fully insulated.  

The non-compliant electrical system was made compliant by reducing the voltage to 32 volts. Virtually all of the wiring which existed in 1939 could be left in place. A modern electrical system was added to provide a few convenience outlets, modern security, and task lighting.  

The corrugated metal off the side of the building was salvaged. A new structural wall was constructed against the existing side wall of the factory. The wall supports the new roof as well as a cavity for coderequired insulation. The original metal siding was reinstalled on the new wall to maintain the authenticity of the factory exterior 

On the interior of the building, we created new but simple wood boxes between the original roof joists to provide a location for lights, diffusers, and sprinkler heads.  

A natural path between machinesvirtually an assembly linealready existed. The original floor of the path had been irregular and posed a trip hazard. We directed the path to be covered with plywood and industrial carpet surface for safety. We also ensured that new railings were installed along both sides of the path to prevent accidental visitor contact with the machines and artifacts. The railing was constructed from the same material which was used to construct metal windmill towers.   

To meet exit requirements the original in-swinging front doors were fixed in the open position. Replica doors, swinging in the required direction of egress were installed in place. 

The Results

The historical front facade is restored and is open to the public. The building has new fire sprinklers, an electrical system, and an HVAC system which properly conditions the space, protecting the historic artifacts for future

The goals for the project were to (1) Make public visitation safe & meaningful, (2) Create a year-round museum capable of daily operations, and (3) Provide an interactive experience utilizing multi-media presentations.

More about the
Arts & Cultural Centers
Category

Since the 1980s, we’ve worked with some of the nation’s leading conservators to assess museum facilities across the Midwest. With decades of experience, we have the sensitivity necessary to preserve and protect the priceless collections held in museums across the country.

Our team has experience detailing the optimal environments for all types of collections which hold all forms of artwork, artifacts, documents of antiquity, and objects of natural history. We have provided post-assessment services for many museums, including grant-funded reassessments and corrective construction projects.

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Our Process

We listen to you

We are preservation architects, let’s get together and talk about your project. Once we know your ideas, we can start your project in the right directions.

We involve you in the planning

Planning projects is what we do. We’ll work with you to develop the best way to implement your ideas. Our written documents are the road map which is essential to ensuring your expectations.

We make it happen

When you’re ready to implement your ideas, we’ll gather together the craftsmen and women necessary and bring your ideas to life. Architecture is in the details. We will follow your project through completion ensuring all the details meet your expectations.

What We Offer

Restoration

We offer restoration and preservation of your historic structures. Using extraordinary materials and craftsmanship, our historic structures are a lasting tribute to the people for whom they were built.

Consulting

We offer consulting services to both general clients and professional clients in sharing our knowledge and expertise in the area of historic preservation. Our master planning and preservation planning prepares our clients to be better able to plan for the life of their historic structures and districts.

New Construction

We know the meaning of sustainability because of our in-depth work with structures which have stood the test of time. We offer sustainable and green new construction which is historically sympathetic, including in the form of additions.

Our Team

Principal, Preservation Architect

Jerry L. Berggren, AIA

Production Manager

Garry Martin

Contract Consultant

Farheen Sirajuddin

Architectural Historian

Janet Jeffries

Architectural Student Intern

Alexi Caines

Media Production Manager

Kameron Dadgostar

Staff Architect

Leroy Svatora, AIA

Media Production Intern

Grace Shepherd

Architectual Student Intern

Sharon Guchu

Operations Manager

Jess Larsen

Architectural Production Staff

Brennan Deboer

Principal, Preservation Architect

Jerry L. Berggren, AIA

In 1977, Jerry Berggren founded what would become Berggren Architects, P.C. The firm began as a sole proprietorship in Lincoln, Nebraska and has since then been dedicated to the preservation of Nebraska’s finest architecture. The 1983 Jobs Bill was the milestone which introduced the firm to its most significant building type, the historic county courthouse. A project to improve the thermal efficiency of the windows at the Johnson County Courthouse in Tecumseh also initiated Berggren’s concern for energy conservation and an ongoing commitment to sustainable design.

Today, Jerry Berggren has expanded his firm. He continues to employ professionals and interns focused on historic preservation and extending the life of our built environment. One growing sector of Berggren Architects, P.C. is our consulting service. As preservation consultants, we share our expertise in historic buildings with other architectural firms. After more than 30 years of assessing the historic structures in the care of local and regional museums, Jerry has developed yet another passion: the design and assessment of museums’ collections storage. At many museums, collections storage is too often an afterthought. When the budget has been spent, a museum’s most treasured possessions are commonly left in the least desirable facility. Jerry is sharing his experience with collections storage design and maintenance, as architect or consultant, with museums throughout the Midwest. The future will undoubtedly hold more unexpected opportunities and challenges. He looks forward to each of those, and you are invited to contact him directly regarding the architectural challenges you face.

Production Manager

Garry Martin

Garry has been working in the architectural field continuously since obtaining a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1991. He had previously worked with Jerry Berggren as an intern in 1989 and the experience piqued his interest in the field of preservation. Garry leads the production team at Berggren Architects, P.C.

Contract Consultant

Farheen Sirajuddin

Farheen, a citizen of India, began her career with formal education in that country achieving the status of architect. When her husband was transferred to the U.S., she seized the opportunity to study at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln graduating in 2019 with her Master of Architecture. She immediately became one of our full time employees continuing to work until her student visa expired in July of 2020. Having to return to India, we thought we had lost a valued employee. Thanks to COVID, we have had to learn to work remotely. Farheen, now living in Canada, has once again joined us. This time as a contract consultant and we are very grateful to have her back.

Architectural Historian

Janet Jeffries

Janet has a career history as an educator, writer, and researcher in the field of historical and architectural preservation. She currently works as the University Historian for Doane University in Crete, NE and is the Curator for the Crete Heritage Society. Janet is currently employed as the firm’s Architectural/Preservation Historian.

Architectural Student Intern

Alexi Caines

Alexi joined Berggren Architects in 2021. In her first year as a Larsen Legacy intern, her responsibilities began with coordinating office operations and research. Her current responsibilities include marketing and preparation of construction documents and design.

Media Production Manager

Kameron Dadgostar

Kameron joined Berggren Architects in September of 2022 as a Media Production Intern. Responsibilities include creating digital videos for the company, filming footage on site of current projects, website development as well as creating and updating existing content and project information.

Staff Architect

Leroy Svatora, AIA

Leroy has been continuously involved in the practice of Architecture since receiving his Master’s Degree in Architecture from University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1977. He began working part-time in an architectural office prior to graduation and worked briefly with Jerry in the 1980’s. After leaving Jerry’s office, he became licensed in the State of Nebraska, and worked for other firms in Lincoln on a variety of project types and scales. Since then, he has returned to assist Berggren Architects once more.

Media Production Intern

Grace Shepherd

Grace joined the Berggren Architects team in June of 2023 as a Media Production Intern part of the McCown Media Internship Program. Grace is a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln studying Emerging Media Arts. She is carrying on the McCown Media Internship Program by filming, editing, and publishing digital content for Berggren Architects and aiding in website development.

Architectual Student Intern

Sharon Guchu

in 2023, Sharon joined Berggren Architects. Her responsibilities as a Larsen Legacy Intern include managing QuickBooks, setting up and maintaining office supplies, and acts as the front-facing representative of our company to the public.

Operations Manager

Jess Larsen

Jess rejoined Berggren Architects as Operations Manager in 2023. Jess originally began her tenure at Berggren in 2016 as an intern while working on her undergraduate degree in Architecture from University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In 2019, after Graduating with Distinction, from the College of Architecture with a Bachelor of Science in Design, and a Minor in Art History and Criticism, she moved to New York City to work as an operations associate for an art consulting firm. Jess has worked with major real estate developers, interior designers, and international artists for her award-winning projects. She is back with Berggren part-time to manage company operations, and to ensure Berggren Architects runs smoothly.

Architectural Production Staff

Brennan Deboer

Brennan’s background in building is rooted in craftsmanship. After graduating from the University of Montana in 2014, Brennan’s professional experience has been split between the arts and construction, working primarily as an audio engineer and a finish carpenter. In 2020, Brennan combined his passions for music and fine woodworking and began working for Bedient Pipe Organ Co. building and refurbishing pipe organs. Working with antique instruments led him to a wider interest in historic building practices and preservation. A desire to formally pursue historic preservation work has now brought him to the Architectural Production Staff at Berggren Architects.

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