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
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.

All
Arts & Cultural Centers
Iconic Government Centers
Education Centers
Living Spaces
Spiritual Centers
Government Support Facilities
All
Arts & Cultural Centers
Iconic Government Centers
Education Centers
Living Spaces
Spiritual Centers
Government Support Facilities

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

Architectual Student Intern

Maegan Ludena-Llanos

Media Production Intern

Grace Shepherd

Architectual Student Intern

Sharon Guchu

Operations Manager

Jess Larsen

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 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

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.

Architectual Student Intern

Maegan Ludena-Llanos

Berggren Architects welcomed Maegan in 2022. Her duties as a Larsen Legacy assistant started out with organizing the offices’ activities and conducting research. Her current duties include overseeing QuickBooks, setting up and maintaining workplace supplies, and serves as our office’s front-facing representative.

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. After 3 years with Berggren, when Jess graduated with her undergraduate degree in 2019, 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.

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