Location: Wauwatosa, WI
Size: 4,500 sq ft
GCA had been outgrowing its former studio space when it acquired a vacant lot with plans to construct a new building for their growing studio. While making plans for a new building, a unique opportunity presented itself to partners, Joe Galbraith and Nick Carnahan. A local developer was planning an apartment project nearby, but had a Log Cabin style office building located on his site. With initial plans to bulldoze the structure, the community cried out to save the building. In an effort to please both the preservation minded community and politicians, the developer offered to move the structure to anyone who would take and restore the building. The timing could not have been more perfect for GCA to enter.
Using our creativity and vision we switched our plans and took the developer up on his offer to move the cabin. We already had a vacant site within a mile of the existing building, so the move was feasible. We worked in tandem with the developer to get both his apartment project approved and the relocation of the Log Cabin. In March of 2018, the building was moved over a 4 hour period along a major city street. This became quite a spectacle, as people braved the rainy night to see a two-story building roll down North Avenue.
After the building was moved to the new location, the focus shifted into a renovation project. The structure was stripped down to bare studs and completely re-imagined on the inside. New heating and cooling, electrical, and plumbing systems were installed. The original hardwood floors were sanded and re-finished, but the majority of interior finishes were reclaimed materials. The wall panels installed were from an 1800’s era warehouse in Dubuque, Iowa. Stair treads were made from a Maple tree harvested from the vacant lot. The building treads lightly on the environment, as it is very well insulated, has extraordinary daylight, and is primarily finished in existing and reclaimed materials. It acts as a true showpiece for the firm’s craft and creativity.