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Historic Renovations

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Dockum Apothecary Speakeasy

Take me back down to places you been to, wonderin’ what your gonna find; A darkened room in the corner basement, the situation must be right; Just a few good friends and a bottle of wine, we’re gonna get it on right tonight! (inspiration from The Guess Who, “New Mother Nature”) These words ... READ MORE

A New Home for Old Memories

Gradually hypnotized by festive tones pumping from the organ, I can taste butter and salt on my lips. The air is riddled with giggles and laughs as my kids yell ‘please daddy just one more ride!’ and the cares of the world are forgotten if only for a moment as this magnificent herd delightfully ... READ MORE

So You’ve Got an Old Building – The Importance of Finding Qualified Historic Preservation Architects

You love the charm and mystique of old buildings. Next thing you know, you find yourself signing the contract on your very own historic building, tucked into the cozy confines of downtown in a fantastic location with plenty of space. Perfect. But what do you do now? Eventually the new-building ... READ MORE

Renovation as a Sustainable Solution

When you think “green” or “sustainable,” what pops into your head? Do you imagine a beautiful new building, outfitted with all of today’s newest technology? Do you think of buzzwords like photovoltaics and daylighting? Or maybe you think of simplifying with materials like rammed earth. Would ... READ MORE

Choosing the Proper Treatment for a Historic Building

Restoring history for future generations is important. Classic architecture is the perfect opportunity to do just that. But maintaining or restoring a historic building takes a lot of effort and forethought. But before you start this important journey, you’ll have to give it plenty of thought ... READ MORE

Friendly Gables Building

Here’s a story from Nick Staib, landscape architect and Jason Wenzel, architect, at WDM Architects… The Friendly Gables building used to be a girls’ home. We had a contract to demo the structure and build a parking lot. Simple enough, except that the county employees kept ... READ MORE

Union National Bank – A Different Take

Here’s a story from David Stauth, an architect at WDM Architects… Sometimes architectural archaeology is more than just discovering long hidden design features or artifacts, sometimes it’s rediscovering the history of the people who built the building, or who worked in or used it. ... READ MORE

Union National Bank / Ambassador Hotel

Here’s a story from Brenda Zickuhr, an interior designer at WDM… When WDM was renovating the 14-story Union National Bank building at the corner of Douglas and Broadway to become the Ambassador Hotel, we were disappointed that almost none of the building’s original architectural ... READ MORE

Henry’s Department Store

Here’s a story from David Stauth, an architect at WDM… WDM did a preliminary review of the Henry’s Department store building at Broadway and William. I was walking around with the building’s owner in the basement, and in a far back corner there was a small room. Inside the room were ... READ MORE

It’s a Mystery…

Here’s a story from Scott Bixler, a former WDM employee… Scott is locally known for his creative art sculptures that he puts together using found and repurposed objects. He occasionally finds old architectural oddities that clients let him have that end up in his work. He also has a ... READ MORE

Lincoln Elementary – Architectural Archaeology Series

Here’s a story from Angi Womeldorff, an interior designer here at WDM… A few months ago I went to do a site visit at Lincoln Elementary, which is being renovated into the Child Advocacy Center of Sedgwick County. While touring the site we came across two very unique art deco column ... READ MORE

Sundstrom Building – Architectural Archaeology

Any child who has ever seen the movie Jurassic Park usually believes for the next few months that they will be an archeologist when they grow up. Over time, dreams of being an archeologist, (or an astronaut, sports star, or race car driver) go away and other careers become reality. I was no ... READ MORE

Here’s to 100 years…

To celebrate its 100th birthday last Saturday, Fidelity Bank opened the doors to Carnegie Library for a public open house. Whether you’re a person or a building, celebrating 100 is a really big deal. It’s even more special when the one being revered is an icon of your community.     ... READ MORE

Investing in Historic Architecture Pays Dividends

  Old buildings have charm and character. But, did you know that it is often a significantly better return on investment to preserve a downtown historic architecture rather demolishing? At last week’s Kansas Preservation Society conference in Emporia, Casey Woods, the Executive Director ... READ MORE

In The News – Wes Darnell on Historical Restoration

Recently, WDM Architect’s very own founding member, Wes Darnell was featured in an article from the Topeka Capital-Journal Online. Below you can read a snippet that features Wes speaking about historical restoration. Click here to read the entire article on the Topeka Capital-Journal ... READ MORE

Ambassador Hotel wins 2014 Award of Honor from AGI

WDM Architects was recently recognized for our part on the team that converted the historic 14-story Union National Bank building in downtown Wichita into an upscale boutique hotel. Other recognized team members were Key Construction and the Ambassador Hotel Group. The team was recognized by ... READ MORE

Sweet Deal: Tax Credits trigger Historic Renovations

It used to be easier to just always “build new. It was cheaper and fewer headaches than trying to rehab. But, like a Blackberry phone, that was sooo yesterday. Two things have changed that:” Federal and State legislation has created historic tax credit incentives for rehabilitating ... READ MORE