As the building began to show wear and tear, it became necessary to either renovation or start fresh. Tearing down the IDC for a full building replacement would have cost 4 times as much in lieu of a full renovation. Besides, the concrete and brick foundations, structure, and walls of the IDC 1969 construction were and are in excellent condition - justification and relevant for a renovation rather than a tear down. The WV SHPO supported the preservation effort, and we are extremely proud they chose to identify the IDC Building as an icon and example of the best 20th century modernism architecture in the state. By accomplishing the project in multi contract stages over a 10-year period, beginning in 2007, the renovation was accomplished without any major disruption of employees performing their assigned duties at their work stations.
The work that took place included new replacements in kind, to match and update code standards for roofs, windows, doors, ADA/ABAAS, restrooms, lights, HVAC, mechanical, electrical, signs, masonry repairs and cleaning, interior and exterior painting. LAN telephone lines, Life Safety, carpets, floor plan and office layout rearrangements, elevator, and office furnishings were also updated to meet GREEN and LEED 21st century standards while matching the original 1968-69 aesthetics and with no changes to the 1968 exterior. Work is still ongoing with plans to design and install new ADA walkways on the south side of the IDC overlooking the Shenandoah River.
By 2020 this modernist building will be ready for its 50th birthday and introduction on the National Register, and with this will come its designation in the park as an historic structure. All the improvements benefit the 90 employees and numerous professional visitors every day. Though much has been accomplished concerning this particular building, at this point the NPS actions for direct preservation are selective, and there is a lot more documentation and renovation work to be done. I encourage Docomomo US and their membership to continue to support the NPS and their efforts.
About the Author
Peter F. Dessauer is a licensed Architect and 41 year veteran with the National Park Service.