The Kinsman House alterations involved the addition of a new elevator to this historic 1832 Colonial Greek Revival structure. Adjacent to Warren Community Amphitheatre, the Kinsman House addition was designed to address accessibility needs within the building. Working closely with the State Historic Preservation Office, accessible elements were added to provide greater community access while protecting the historic appeal of the building.
Because the building is listed on the National Historic Registry, all work that alters the appearance of the work must be approved through the U.S. Department of Interiors, National Parks Service. The building needed an elevator to provide handicap access to all levels of the building. An exterior addition was found to be the only solution. The elevator addition needed to aesthetically complement the existing building, but the design needed to be easily identified as a modern addition. Over the years the initial 1832 structure had been added on to several times with each addition built with floor levels lower than the previous addition. These additions were accessed by short flights of stairs or sometimes a single large step. This posed additional handicap accessibility issues. The only restroom facilities were in the basement and did not meet current Code requirements. Finally, this stately building had been sadly neglected with water, birds and rodents all causing damage to the interior.
Phillips|Sekanick Architects was able to develop a modern elevator addition to the Greek Revival home which was connected with a narrow glass curtainwall system. Use of porcelain tile exterior cladding which looked like limestone was a cost-effective way to maintain the limestone look without the expense or weight of real limestone. Handicap accessibility within the house was addressed by use of ramps with a total of four ramps being added and one floor being raised. Creative reconfiguration of space allowed two new handicap accessible restrooms to be added on the first floor. Room by room repairs were made to the plaster walls, hardwood floors, and historic wood trim. The white marble fireplace mantles were able to be cleaned and salvaged. Through our careful design efforts and close communication with state and local authorities, the house continues along the path to being restored to its full historic grandeur.