Fox Environmental Education Center at Illick’s Mill
A collaborative project to restore and renovate a mid-nineteenth century grist mill on the Monocacy Creek.
Illick’s Mill Context
Illick’s Mill Exterior
Illick’s Mill Catshead
Illick’s Mill Main Level
Illick’s Mill Window
Illick’s Mill Lower Level
Artefact’s interests in historic preservation, sustainable architecture, and community projects came together in this collaborative project to restore and renovate a mid-nineteenth century grist mill on the Monocacy Creek. Planning and fund-raising for the project was carried out by a special student program at Liberty High School in Bethlehem, PA. After the successful completion of the renovations, Illick’s Mill Partnership named the center the Gertrude B. Fox Environmental Education Center in honor of a memorable local environmental activist.
The overriding design consideration for the mill was to preserve the character of the historic structure while giving it a new function. The new uses allowed for the preservation of the open quality of the interior space, while discretely accommodating code and accessibility requirements. The center includes a science center in the lowest level, exhibition space on the main level, flexible space for teaching and events on the second floor, and a staff area on the upper mezzanine. An addition is planned for the future and will honor the existing building in proportion and in the choice of stone and timber framing. Transparent glass walls in the addition will reflect the changing use of the mill and satisfy the programmatic need for a nature observation room and bird sanctuary.