Assistance for Design TeamsCommunity advocates, engineers, architects, and real estate developers often struggle to both interpret the value of their architectural history and leverage and historic tax incentive programs to sustain that historic value. Preservation planning and design are crucial to “telling the story” and to capturing incentives, thus reducing the project financing “gap.”
Main Street CommunitiesMain Street communities are characterized by their centralized commercial district. They reflect the unique culture and character of their residents – past and present. Investment in a Main Street community’s historic resources can promote tourism, small business creation, neighborhood stability, affordable housing, and quality of life. We can offer strategies for integrating new and historic redevelopment, for maximizing federal grants and complying with the State Historic Preservation Office requirements and protecting historic resources.
Preservation Architecture Samples
Sustainability“The most sustainable building is the one already built”. An existing building embodies timeless energy and material resources. But it also offers numerous opportunities for improved energy consumption. Reduced air infiltration, window restoration, adequate insulation, and installation of efficient mechanical and electrical systems can reduce a building’s energy use and carbon footprint by up to 25% and contribute to a healthier indoor environment. Throughout our 25 year history, WTA Inc. has considered sustainable design a basic professional ethic, even before the practice became the industry standard.
Make a difference for local historyWinter-Troutwine Associates, Inc., Preservation Consultants strive to make a difference… making economic sense of local architectural history.
Local governments often need help determining how to evaluate and re-purpose their downtown architectural assets. Main Street programs, local façade programs, DDA’s and other funding and project implementation tools foster a transformation to vibrant and historic destination. WTA, Inc. offers design and planning assistance to communities that include or aspire to have designated historic districts. We consult with municipalities, architects, engineers, development teams and local campaigns to save endangered landmarks.
Urban Design ConsultingCreative solutions for repurposing existing historic structures often require an understanding of specialized preservation design processes. This can include assessing existing conditions, adapting the existing structure to accommodate new uses and modern codes, and preserving the significant design elements - windows, facades, materials, lighting and significant architectural characteristics. Innovations in preservation technologies, systems and materials are continually being developed.
Consulting ServicesSurvey and document existing building conditionsFeasibility studies for adaptive reuse (relevant to original design)Historic preservation design and planning (appropriate design treatments)Section 106 reviews (review of State and Federal environmental impacts)Advise and prepare applications for tax incentive programsConstruction oversight to meet preservation criteriaNational Register nominations (district and individual properties)
Historic Tax IncentivesThe economics of historic preservation are crucial to a successful project. If applied for in advance, a combination of local and Federal incentives can leverage up to 30% of a project. We assist our clients, both private and public, in using these economic incentives to leverage other local and private funding. The credits can be syndicated for non-profit clients. And, as members of the Historic Preservation Weekly SHPO List-serve, we remain current on policies, legislation, and funding that may affect future development in Michigan.
Interpreting Your HistoryHistoric Preservation captures a snapshot of the past and invigorates the present. It contributes to a dynamic future. Aesthetics, neighborhood stability, growth management, property values, quality of life are all impacted. Historic Preservation helps define a sense of community.
Urban Design Consulting
About Winter-Troutwine Associates Inc.
Make a difference
for local history
Historic Tax Incentives
Assistance for Design Teams
Main Street Communities
About Winter-Troutwine Associates Inc.A licensed Michigan preservation architect, Jim Winter-Troutwine, RA, owner of Winter-Troutwine Associates Inc., provides professional historic preservation design and consulting services. In 1990 Mr. Winter-Troutwine received his 36 CFR Part 61 Historic Architect Certification, a designation by the National Parks Service, Department of the Interior.
Jim is also the owner of WinterWine LLC, a design-build-management company. He owns multiple two-family properties in Fairmount Square Historic District and is a licensed builder in the State of Michigan.
WTA, Inc. Associate Thomas H. Logan, PhD, AICP, holds a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning, is historian for the Heritage Hill Association, and is an owner of several two-family properties in Heritage Hill in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is an active member of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and, in 2003, published “Almost Lost. Building and Preserving Heritage Hill, Grand Rapids, Michigan”.
Together, Tom and Jim advocate for sustainable use and preservation of historic properties and communities. “Finding and engaging our clients in their intriguing history is our primary goal”. We have worked on projects in Grand Rapids, Saugatuck, Middleville, Escanaba, Arcadia and other West Michigan communities. Each has served 2 terms on the Grand Rapids Historic Preservation Commission. Both are recipients of local and State recognition awards for their work.
Whites Covered Bridge - Ionia County, MI. One of the four oldest remaining in-use covered bridges in West Michigan, built in 1869, was damaged by a hit-and-run motor vehicle in early 2010. The Ionia County Road Commission contracted with Williams and Works Engineers and WTA Inc. as preservation consultant for the restoration of the damaged areas. Timbers, bolts, dowels and siding were re-used and/or re-fabricated to match original materials regarding grade, joinery and finish. After load testing, the bridge was placed back in use in October of 2010.
Middleville Main Street
Escanaba Main Street - Escanaba, MI. Escanaba Downtown Development Authority hired WTA Inc. in 2007 to review MSHDA design concepts and lead the redesign and oversight of the façade renovations of 5 selected storefronts. MSHDA funds incentivized local participation, which significantly influenced the business activity in this 1200-block of Ludington Street.
The Helmus Building
Regents Theater - Griswold Historic District, Allegan, MI. Originally built as a livery stable, then re-purposed in 1919 as a Vaudeville theatre, this building has continued to serve as a community theatre and performance arts center. In 2006, the City of Allegan hired WTA Inc. to lead the restoration of the 1939 Art Deco marquee. Restoration included removal and replacement of the support structure, glazed porcelain panels and all of the neon lighting and signage. Upon completion, the City-owned theatre was selected as the recipient of the 2008 Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation.
Whites Covered Bridge
Escanaba Main Street
Fairmount Square Condos - Fairmount Square Historic District, Grand Rapids, MI.In 2008, EastBrook Homes Inc. hired WTA Inc. as their historic design and space-planning consultant to advise about in-fill design standards for a 36 unit condominium project. As a result, the builder met the local Historic Preservation Commission’s standards and has completed one of the first successful in-fill housing projects in a historic district of the city.
The Helmus Building - Wealthy Street Theatre Historic District, Grand Rapids, MI. Developer-driven repurposing of two buildings included new uses for first floor commercial, retail and offices with second floor residential space and a roof garden. WTA Inc. helped secure State and Federal Historic Tax incentives and local façade improvement grants. As a result, the owner was successful in certifying the 20,000 square foot building in 2004 as the first existing building to receive a US Green Building Council LEED Platinum Award in Grand Rapids.
Ebling Building - Grand Rapids, MI. Once an urban Sunoco fueling station, this property later fell into disrepair and was threatened with “demolition by neglect”. In 2005, the building was given to the Kent Count Council for Historic Preservation and subsequently donated to a private party for rehabilitation. State and Federal Tax credits made the project feasible. WTA Inc. was hired to assist the owners to re-purpose the building to include two first-floor non-retail uses, and two second-floor apartments. In 2006 the building received the Governors’ Award for Historic Preservation.
The Castle - Heritage Hill District, Grand Rapids, MI. Built in 1889 and locally know as the “Castle”, this house is quite rare as one of the only stone homes in Grand Rapids. WTA was commissioned to help repurpose the home to dental offices. Our work included a complete upgrade of all the mechanical and electrical systems and accessibility design requirements. Interior architecture included private office, reception and staff areas, and five dental suites and support functions. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Main Street - Middleville, MI. Once a thriving mill town, the Village of Middleville determined to revisit their past to again become a regional destination. In 2002, the Village DDA contracted with WTA Inc. to develop a vision for their historic downtown and to act as the village architect for review and implementation of their DDA Façade Incentive Program. This program has incentivized many of their downtown storefronts, reviving the history and character of this Main Street community.
Weaver House - West Olive, MI. A remnant of Michigan’s early rail history, the Weaver House and its 240-acre site were purchased by the Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Department to enhance their park system. In 2004, the County Parks Department contracted with WTA Inc. as project architect to re-purpose the 1200 foot2 American Four-Square house as a destination reception and banquet hall. Work included three additions: public restrooms, a screened porch, and a 1200 foot2 deck, uniquely feathered into the woods. The County Parks Department staff completed the restoration of interior finishes, windows, doors, plaster and exterior siding. The building was put into use in the Spring of 2007.
Hollister-Baker Mansion - Heritage Hill Historic District, Grand Rapids, MI Built in 1853, by Harvey and Martha Hollister, the house is currently used for 11 apartments. Despite numerous additions, the house retains much of the original interior. The home is situated on the back of a large lot, with groupings of mature maple and walnut trees. Our work included a complete mechanical and electrical upgrade, kitchen and bath revisions and the preparation of a master plan for conversion to condominiums.
Aloy Bilz House - State of Michigan Registry of Historic Places, Spring Lake, MI.
Built in 1871, one of the earliest houses in Spring Lake. The Bilz family moved to Spring Lake in 1866 as immigrants of Bohemia. The house had been occupied continually for four generations of the Bilz family until 1997. In 1998 the house was purchased by a couple determined to use the house for their counseling practice and their personal residence on the second floor.
Our work included restoration of the original front and rear porch and the addition of a second floor master bedroom. The interior work included the restoration of original first floor finishes and wood trim and floors in the entry hall, four private offices, and an accessible restroom. The second floor was completely remodeled as the personal residence for the owners, designed with a private entrance, and
a pleasant private garden.
The house is listed on the National Register for Historic Places and the State of Michigan Registry of Historic Places.
Preservation Essentials:Recognize the original defining characteristics of the building and the site.Retain and preserve the original historical character. Avoid the use of new materials and removal of defining features.Recognize the property as a physical record of its time, the prior owners, the place and use.Avoid changes that tend to create a false sense of history.Respect the changes that have occurred over time, as they too have acquired their own sense of history.Preserve or replicate distinctive features, finishes, and construction techniques.Repair rather than replace. Replace to match the original design in color, texture and materials.Clean old surfaces with the gentlest means possible.Renovate with contemporary design if it will not impair the integrity of the character, and if the design is compatible with the massing and proportions and the original architecture.Build new additions so they may be removed without damage to the original historic structure.Courtesy or the National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, “Standards for Rehabilitation”
Covered Bridge Cottage - Ada, MI In 2004 the cottage was purchased by a family who decided to restore the house to the mid-Nineteenth century. The house has a history of growth, from the pre-Civil war era to the 1950’s. Each subsequent addition added new elements, which evolved into an eclectic “I” plan design. Winter-Troutwine Associates were hired soon after the purchase to direct the restoration of the “River House” showing respect to its human and architectural history. The carefully planned restoration took one and a half years to complete, involving skilled craftsmen, artisans, cabinet makers and mechanical and electrical contractors willing to explore the challenges of lighting, heating, cooling and plumbing in an old house. The work included restoration of the existing interior and exterior finishes, and replacement of the existing double-hung windows. The original cottage styled kitchen was removed and redesigned four feet wider incorporating a rear patio and pergola. New technologies added are compatible with character of this pioneer’s cabin.
The Castle - Heritage Hill District, Grand Rapids, MI.In 1997, Dr. Wemmer purchased the Colonel Crofton and Charles Fox home built in 1889 for her new dental office. Locally known as the “Castle”, this house is quite rare as one of the only stone homes in Grand Rapids. Most of the original interior is intact, with the exception of the dental suites in the back half of the main floor. Our work included a complete upgrade of all the mechanical and electrical systems and accessibility design requirements. Interior architecture included Dr. Wemmer’s private office, reception and staff areas, and 5 dental suites and support functions. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the Heritage Hill Historic District, one of the first historic districts in the United States.
Covered Bridge Cottage
Little Sisters of the Poor - Heritage Hill Historic District, Grand Rapids, MI Built circa 1890’s the carriage house is the only remaining piece of the estate. In 1997 the owners moved the brick structure 2 blocks and sold the building to a private owner in 1999. Winter-Troutwine Associates were hired to restore the building and convert it into private offices.
Weaver House - West Olive, MI In 2003 the Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission purchased 240 acres of woods and wetlands along the Pigeon River. The land and residential structures were a humble stopover along the rail line between Chicago and Mackinaw in the late nineteenth century. Mr. and Mrs. Cloyd Weaver were the owners for most of the first quarter of the Twentieth Century.Today the park is developed, including 6 miles of hiking and cross country ski trails and a canoe/kayak launch. In 2004 the County Parks Department hired Winter-Troutwine Associates to design an adaptive reuse of the American Four Square house as a rural reception and banquet facility. The design challenge required three major additions; two restrooms; a 1000 square foot screened porch designed for barrier free accessibility; and a 1200 square foot deck. The interiors were completely refinished, retaining the maple floor, restoring the original wood double hung windows, and the original plaster walls and ceilings. The landscaping was designed to be period sensitive. The Weaver House Hall opened to the public in Spring of 2007.
Willowbrook - Grand Rapids, MI. This neo-Georgian home is situated on a grassy site bisected by Coldbrook Creek at the city’s eastern edge. Built in 1941 by architect Jim Craig, Willowbrook had been a private home until 1963, when Aquinas College purchased it as a residence hall for upper-class women. In 1972 the house was converted into office space. In 1986 the college hired Winter-Troutwine Associates to direct the conversion to its current use as the home of the college president. Our work included renovation of the interior and exterior finishes, an updated kitchen, and the design of a main floor restroom. WTA also worked with the college grounds staff on the design of period front and rear landscaping.
Residential Architecture Samples
Hollester House - Fairmount Square Historic District, Grand Rapids, MI Built circa 1890, the home was purchased by the Winter-Troutwine’s in 1995 and rehabilitated into two 1100 square foot apartments. The renovation of this burnt-out house created enthusiasm for the designation of the area as the Fairmount Square Historic District in 1999. Our work included a complete restoration of the exterior, based on historic photographs, and renovation of the interior into modern two bedroom apartments. The renovation of this house was featured by the City of Grand Rapids Housing Department in 1997.
Aloy Bilz House
Credentials & AwardsJim Winter-Troutwine, RA is a licensed professional Michigan Architect and a Certified Preservation Architect (36 CFR 61). He is also a builder/contractor and income property owner in the Fairmount Square Historic District of Grand Rapids. He has owned and managed his private practice since 1989. During this period, he has employed up to seven full time staff and worked on over 50 residential renovation and restoration projects in Michigan.
WTA Inc. has proven experience working with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC,) and the Michigan Historic Preservation Network (MHPN), members of the National Trust for Historic Preservation Forum and former member of the Association of Applied Technology International (APTI).
2008 Governor's Award for Historic Preservation for the Allegan Theatre in Allegan Michigan2003 Outstanding Historic Preservation Volunteer for creating Fairmount Square Historic District2003 Outstanding Historic Preservation Award for 945-959 Wealth Street SE In Grand Rapids1995 AIA Grand Valley Distinguished Building Design Award for a Fennville residence
GOULD RESIDENCE - 1995 AIA Distinguished Building Design Award
ContactWinter-Troutwine Associates, Inc.
Grand Rapids Michigan 49506