Each year the Ohio Historic Preservation Office of the Ohio Historical Society recognizes achievements in preserving Ohio's prehistory, history, architecture, and culture. In 2006, The Durable Restoration Company was among the recipients of the Preservation Merit Award for the restoration of the Westcott House.
The Award of Preservation Merit reads as follows:
The Ohio Historic Preservation Office
of the Ohio Historical Society
all who have contributed to
the restoration of Frank Lloyd Wright's Westcott House,
Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy,
Westcott House Foundation; The Turner Foundation,
Chambers, Murphy & Burge Restoration Architects,
Schooley Caldwell Associates,
Structural Engineer and Architectural Historian Elwin Robison,
Landscape Architect Carol Yetken of CYLA Design Associates,
Durable Restoration Company,
and the many skilled artisans and craftspeople,
and generous donors,
for their outstanding contribution
to historic preservation
Neglected for decades and now fully restored by The Durable Restoration Company, Frank Lloyd Wright's Westcott House in Springfield, Ohio stands as a lasting tribute to Wright, who is considered by many to be America's greatest architect. The Westcott House is the only example of Wright's Prairie Style architecture in Ohio.
According to Neil Levine, a Harvard Professor of History of Art and Architecture and a Wright scholar, "The real importance of this restoration is that the entire site - the house, the garden and the garage - all survived and it has now been restored to the way it looked nearly 100 years ago. Visitors will be able to get a sense of how Mr. Wright planned the house in terms of its ancillary buildings and their relationship to the surrounding houses and landscape, much of which hasn't changed a great deal since the house was originally built."
Over 4,400 square feet of living space was meticulously restored, as well as the basement and landscaping.
The Westcott House had been added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, but restoration didn't commence until almost three decades later. The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy purchased the house in 2000 and sold it to The Westcott House Foundation the following year.
Due to the importance of this historic architectural treasure, restoration of the highest quality was an absolute must. The Westcott House Foundation engaged a top-notch architectural restoration team in Chambers, Murphy & Burge of Akron, Ohio and Schooley, Caldwell Associates of Columbus, Ohio. Durable Restoration, due to our expertise and because we provide complete restoration services, was given the responsibility of project management over the entire project.
Ronald Scherubel, Executive Director of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, commented, "Our congratulations to The Westcott House Foundation which, with the expert assistance of restoration architects Chambers, Murphy and Burge and contractor Durable Restoration Company, and a whole host of Ohio artisans, craftspeople and volunteers, have completed a restoration project returning this important Wright Prairie house to its original glory. The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy will continue to monitor this project in partnership with The Westcott House Foundation, under our preservation easement, assuring that this important house will remain in good condition in perpetuity."
The restoration took more than four years. The first step was structural stabilization and careful demolition of subsequent changes to the original structure. Walls which had subdivided the house into apartments during the 1940's were removed, load-bearing walls were reinforced, and termite-infested wood was replaced. The basement was excavated to add more supporting members.
Next the roof, windows, stucco, and exterior wood trim were restored. The reflecting pool was restored, as were the FLW signature urns and the flower boxes. On the inside, floors, walls, and ceilings were restored to their original appearance. Modern plumbing, electrical, fire protection, and security systems were installed. An underground geothermal heating and cooling system was installed. Finally, the landscaping as designed by Wright was reestablished.
According to Warren Copeland, mayor of Springfield, "Frank Lloyd Wright is a one-of-a-kind expression of the American vision and experience. The people of Springfield are fortunate that one of his homes is located in Springfield and deeply grateful that it now has been restored. This restored treasure will be a point of pride for us and a magnet attracting interest in our community from far and wide."