Working with Indiana Landmarks and Hope House, Inc. as community partners, students in Historic Preservation not only gain practical experience, it gives them the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in class to compiled an adaptive reuse feasibility study for the rehabilitation of the Caldwell-Dennis House, an historic residential structure located in Wabash, IN.

The objective of the study is to transform the house into transitional housing for women reentering society. Community partners utilize this study to make appropriate design decisions as they intersect with the needed modern adaptions within a historic structure. The document will also be utilized for fundraising purposes.

Students conducted two site visits to Wabash to meet with community partners, created measured drawings/floor plans, documented character defining features, and assessed current conditions in addition to conducting historic research on the house (when it was built, evolution through the years, change of ownership, etc.). Finally, the studio determined appropriate future layout and programming for the intended reuse while considering historic and significant elements of the structure and landscape and presented to the community partners. The documents will be very helpful to Hope House as they move forward with their efforts.

By J.P. Hall
Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation
Department of Architecture