The Lutz-Franklin Schoolhouse that stands today was built in 1880 and served the community as a school from 1880 to 1958. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was determined to be a significant historic property because it possesses authentic characteristics of a 19th century one-room schoolhouse. The fine artisanship of the building, most clearly demonstrated in the pattern of the stone work, was exceptional for its time.
An anonymous donor funded the restoration of the schoolhouse and its conversion into the Lutz-Franklin Schoolhouse Museum. Artefact created the restoration plans and coordinated the work. Today the schoolhouse is owned and maintained through a partnership between Lower Saucon Township and the Lower Saucon Historical Society. Students visit the museum to learn about local history. Many community events, such as History Day, Harvest Festival, picnics and community meetings, are held at the schoolhouse.
Artefact is currently designing a museum that will illustrate the life of women from the Lehigh Valley. This museum will be housed in the Single Sisters’ House in historic downtown Bethlehem.
The project follows the guidelines of the Secretary of Interior’s Standards. The preservation design also follows guidelines for greening historic structures.
The program includes exhibition spaces, assembly space (the Saal) and an information kiosk. The major alterations to be performed in the building are the installation of an elevator and ADA restrooms.
Artefact has been selected to lead the restoration efforts of the Turn and Grind Shop to become the ArtsQuest Steel Hall. The space is going to undergo necessary repairs, restoration, and building code related upgrades. The building will become part of the ArtsQuest activities at SteelStacks including concerts, markets, and exhibitions. The restoration will follow the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. The project requires coordination with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC).
This abandoned historic firehouse in South Bethlehem was resurrected as a 72-seat community theater. The low budget renovation could not restore the original elegance of the 1876 building, but it creatively adapted the firehouse into a theater with the removal of a section of the first floor level and the construction of a double height dramatic space for performances. A rehearsal space stacks above the theater space and a two story lobby connects the two floor levels.
Some years after the renovation of the firehouse, Touchstone acquired the adjacent house and renovated it, creating an integrated facility that includes the theater, new wing space, a two story lobby, two rehearsal spaces, a suite of offices, café, workshop, and storage. The conjoining of the buildings created many structural and organizational challenges, but the result was a welcoming, historically sensitive, logically organized home for Touchstone.