Onawa Public Library

Scope of Work

Building assessment

Location

Onawa, Iowa

The History

Built 1909, Patton & Miller

Project Completion

2021

The Challenge

On May 28th, 2021, Library Director Amy McDermott contacted our office at the suggestion of Iowa’s State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) with regard to fixing a hole in the library’s roof. The Onawa Public Library is on the National Register of Historic Places. Public funds will be used to make the necessary roof repairs which have recently grown into a complete re-roofing project. A contractor has already been retained and at this point the SHPO felt compelled to have the Director seek out a preservation architect to confirm or correct the contractor’s plans for re-roofing the library. Director McDermott alluded to other issues of concern regarding the 1908 Prairie Style Library.

The Strategy

Berggren Architects’ preservation architect offered to spend a day on site and the primary focus would be assessment of the roof. Any time available after assessing the roof would be spent assessing the exterior and/or other specific concerns. June 24th was the agreed upon date for this assessment. It was suggested by Berggren Architects that during that day’s noon lunch, library board members could be invited for an impromptu review of the day’s activities and initial findings.

The Results

The recommendations made throughout the report are maintenance items, as opposed to necessary renovations. The unfortunate damage to the roof is of course your first priority. The elimination of water in the basement is also a high priority, and will have a relatively high price tag.

The assessment of the roof was broken down into three categories; the shingles, the roof deck, canopy roof and recommendations. Time did permit and the exterior masonry was assessed. It too was broken down into three categories; brick masonry, decorative tile, granite masonry, limestone masonry and recommendations

From damage and deterioration noted while conducting the assessments, it was appropriate to include an assessment of site drainage with recommendations.

The last major exterior element to assess was the exterior wood. Its categories included windows, doors and recommendations. The conclusion of the report prioritized our recommendations and offered suggestions for phasing the corrective measures, sometimes combining recommendations and at other times estimating the remaining useful life of the material which had been assessed.

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Gallery:

IMG 8317 (filed Photos 2021-06-24 JLB)

Caption: “Historic Onawa Public Library.”

 

IMG 8324 (filed Photos 2021-06-24 JLB)

Caption: “Existing hole in original clay tile roof.”

 

IMG 8432 (filed Photos 2021-06-24 JLB)

Caption: “Signature Prairie Style arched window openings with leaded patterned and colored glass.  Wide overhanging roof and water table of granite capped with Indiana Limestone.

 

IMG 8394 (filed Photos 2021-06-24 JLB)

Caption: “Original extrude, rounded finishing mortar creates a unique problem.  This form of joint treatment is not recommended because of it many pockets to trap moisture and its susceptible to damage as passersby may inadvertently knock portions of the mortar off the wall.  This condition exists at the lowest joint in the forefront of the image. The discoloration of the mortar is evidence that the joints have had to be repaired in the past”

 

Include options to download the assessment.

More about the
Arts & Cultural Centers
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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, Associate AIA

Architect

Farheen Sirajuddin

Architectural Historian

Janet Jeffries

Architectural Student Intern

Jessica Fujan

Architectural Student Intern

Brandy Nguyen

Architectural Student Intern

Alexi Caines

Principal, Preservation Architect

Jerry L. Berggren, AIA

Jerry Berggren founded the firm in 1977 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.

In 1986, Jerry’s “Courthouse Trail” proposal to the state was approved. The Courthouse Trail experience solidified two career-long relationships with the Nebraska Energy Office and the Nebraska Association of County Officials. He continued to serve Nebraska’s county clients and in 2002 he became the recipient of the Honors Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This achievement was Berggren’s first nationally recognized award.

Today, Jerry Berggren has expanded his firm and employs professionals with abilities in historic preservation, architecture, interior design, sustainability, master planning and more. 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, Associate AIA

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.

Architect

Farheen Sirajuddin

Farheen, a citizen of India, began her career with formal education in that county achieving the status of architect. When her husband was transferred to the US, 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. From India, Farheen is once again joining us. This time as a contract employee 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 College Historian for Doane College 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

Jessica Fujan

Jessica Fujan joined Berggren Architects in 2019. As an architectural intern, Jessica has assisted project architects with several projects including, Nemaha County Courthouse, Jefferson County Courthouse, and the Cheyenne Fountain Restoration. Having completed her undergraduate studies, Jessica is spending the summer interning with one of Wichita’s finest architectural firms.  We look forward to her return this fall as she begins work on her Master of Architecture degree at UNL.

Architectural Student Intern

Brandy Nguyen

Brandy Nguyen joined Berggren Architects in April of 2020. As an architectural Brandy was recruited in 2020 by Jessica to become the next Larsen Legacy intern. During this year of his internship, he is taking charge of Berggren Architects outward appearance. Website development and polishing the proposal we submit are among his responsibilities. He is also becoming a significant help with the production of construction documents.

Architectural Student Intern

Alexi Caines

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

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