History Museum

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Project Description

This 15,000 square foot, 1.8 million dollar museum, the Mount Horeb “Driftless Historium” serves as a depository for the local history of a town in southwestern Wisconsin (the Mount Horeb Area Historical Society – MHAHS). The completed project is the culmination of years of planning and fundraising and greatly enhances the program of this small but robust museum and their collections. The design evolved through a number of iterations finally settling on an ensemble of buildings: (1) an existing 19th century storefront, the original museum, (2) a new two story multi-functional building (the ‘Mount Horeb House’), and (3) a one story transitional space or “connector” element.

The 19th century storefront building retains its function as the show-place for the museum’s permanent collection but this exhibit space has been reduced slightly to accommodate a new multi-purpose meeting room at the front of the building. The first floor of the new two-story structure encompasses a number of public and back-of-house functions: a temporary exhibit space / multi-purpose room, a research / small meeting room, archive storage for paper and photographs, a workroom for the sorting, cleaning and preparation of incoming materials, staff offices and other support spaces. The second floor of the new building is devoted to the storage of artifacts (the museum’s collection). The connector space acts as a controlling element, functioning as the main entrance, gathering space, museum store and also provides restroom facilities. Humidity control and LED lighting have been incorporated into the HVAC and electrical systems to help protect and preserve the museum’s collections. The project is a good example of how to maximize the Architecture on a limited budget.

Role

Architect for the project from the initial design phases to the completion of the construction. Worked closely with the building committee and staff with visioning, programming and design.

Firm

Bruce F. Roth, Architect

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