Students in Assistant Professor J.P. Hall’s Historic Preservation studio spent spring semester working on an adaptive reuse feasibility study for the rehabilitation of the Caldwell-Dennis house, an historic residential structure in Wabash, Ind.

Indiana Landmarks, a nonprofit organization that helps save and revitalize historic places, had acquired six architecturally significant homes, including the Caldwell-Denise house, at an auction with the intention to restore the exteriors of the houses for potential buyers.

Hope House Inc. purchased the Caldwell-Denise house to use as a transitional home for women recovering from substance abuse. This will be the first transitional home for women in Wabash County.


This historical building in Wabash, Indiana was purchased by Hope House to be used as a transitional home for women in recovery from substance abuse.

Students conducted two site visits to Wabash, created measured drawings and 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.).

Students touring houses purchase by Indiana Landmarks.

As a final measure, the studio determined the appropriate future layout and programming for the intended reuse while considering historic elements of the structure. They presented their findings to stakeholders from Indiana Landmarks and Hope House.

After evaluation, stakeholders will be able to utilize this study to make appropriate design decisions such as determining the needs for modern adaptions within the historic structure. The study is expected to aid in fundraising efforts as well.