VOL. 110 | NO. 119 | Tuesday, June 18, 1996
lj 10/5 cates
Local architecture firm wins awards
Architecture, Incorporated honored for Hunt Phelan home renovation
By LAURIE JOHNSON
The Daily News
A local architecture firm has been recognized by two Memphis organizations for its restoration work on the Hunt-Phelan Home.
Architecture Inc. has been awarded Memphis Heritages Paul Gruenberg Memorial Award and the Memphis Landmark Commissions Award of Excellence.
The awards are the result of two years of intense restoration work directed by David M. Schuermann, AIA, of Architecture Inc. and executed by the estates heir, Bill Day.
The Memphis Heritage award recognizes excellence in restoration and adaptive re-use of historical properties, and the Landmarks Commission award recognizes the authenticity, workmanship and attention to detail of the Hunt-Phelan Home.
The $1.7 million renovation project restored the 4,195-square-foot home, built in 1828, to its original condition.
"It was a difficult job to manage. The needs of tourism are difficult needs to meet, but they managed to strike the right balance and do a great job with the restoration," said Chris Fales, director of Memphis Heritage.
"We thought that the Hunt-Phelan home was such a unique historical part of the community we really felt it was quite deserving. We were impressed by the overall attention and respect given to the house," said architect Clayton Rogers, board member of Memphis Heritage.
Architecture Inc.s efforts were concentrated on assuring that the work was accomplished with historic accuracy and appropriate techniques, Schuermann said.
Renovation work entailed restoring interior finishes, including a hand painted ceiling and hand stenciled floor patterns. Interior light fixtures, grilles and detail work were all restored or custom-replicated.
A dilapidated rear service porch was reconstructed according to contemporary structural design guidelines and finished to exacting historical context.
Key components, such as exterior wood windows and doors, operable shutters, beaded wood ceilings, wood columns, cornices and cast iron vents, while deteriorated, were determined to be so important to the character of the house that every effort was made to restore them rather than replace them, Scheurmann said.
This was accomplished through a combination of hand labor, custom millworking and restoration epoxies, he said.
"The rehabilitation of the main house stands as a tribute to the architectural and social history of Memphis, spanning almost its entire history," said commissioner Elizabeth Pritchard of the Landmarks Commission.
Architecture Inc., founded by Schuermann and partner Joey Hagan almost two years ago, is a full-service architectural firm that specializes in historical and commercial renovation. The firms offices are located at 88 Union Center.
Other projects the firm has undertaken include B.B. Kings Blues Club, High Point Pinch, Does Eat Place, Roach Paper Co., Union City Depot, 85 S. Second St., The Gotten House and Unisource Paper Products.
The Hunt-Phelan Home, which was built in 1828, officially opened to the public March 1 of this year.