Madison Brass Works Historic Preservation, Madison, WI

OTIE provided structural engineering for the conversion of an old foundry into a community center. The foundry—Madison Brass Works—is across the street from the Goodman Community Center, which had purchased the Brass Works building to expand their facilities. Renovations to fit the new use included restoration of the historic façade and conversion of over 30,000 square feet into education, employment, and enrichment programming spaces for youth and the community.

OTIE structural engineers provided a design to maintain the historic aspects of the building. The old foundry room was revamped into an open, inviting space with vaulted ceilings. The building’s original engineering design and lack of maintenance for the last 20 years created numerous design problems. We evaluated the structure’s existing brick walls and wood trusses for their ability to support the loads required by current building codes. Challenges included integration of new building materials into old, fire separation between old and new construction, and a reframed roof to support photovoltaic (solar) panels.

This project received a 2019 Adaptive Reuse award from the Madison Trust for Historic Preservation.