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Building Conservation Associates

Penn Museum

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Original Architect: Wilson Eyre, Jr., Cope & Stewardson, and Frank Miles Day & Brother
Year Built: 1896

Constructed over seven distinct building campaigns between 1899 and 2004, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is a contributing resource to the University of Pennsylvania Campus Historic District. BCA was involved with the renovation of the 1915 Harrison Wing and the 1924 Coxe Wing Galleries. The Harrison Wing consists of an upper masonry rotunda and a lower masonry auditorium, with the upper and lower chambers each surmounted by a monumental self-supporting Guastavino tile dome. Similar to the Harrison Wing, the Coxe Wing also consists of two levels—each featuring a large main hall lined with smaller side gallery rooms.

As part of the interior renovation effort for these two significant museum wings, BCA developed an initial set of Historic Preservation Guidelines, consisting of ranked Preservation Zones within both wings coupled with appropriate Preservation Treatment Recommendations for each space. BCA created construction documents for the Coxe Harrison Renovations, which includes cleaning and repairs to a variety of historic materials, including wood, Guastavino tile, marble, brick, and terrazzo. To inform the repair design and specifications, BCA performed a conditions assessment of the relevant interior spaces and completed interior masonry cleaning and paint removal tests. BCA was also involved during the construction phase of the project, providing project management support and review.