Tag Archives: Historic

Featured historic projects

Stone House Addition

This Saucon Valley stone home dates from the early to mid 19th century. Artefact was retained to design renovations and an addition to the home in two separate phases. The first phase included a small rear addition, the renovation of the kitchen and the conversion of several rooms into a master bedroom suite.  The second phase addition included a wood and glass conservatory- connector and a stone wing that houses a library, office and guest suite. The stone work was meticulously matched to the existing home.

Armstrong House at Cheyney University

The late 18th century house, located 25 miles west of Philadelphia on the edge of Cheyney’s campus, is a uniquely important building for the university because of its connection to the Underground Railroad during the Civil War.  A hidden stair in the basement leads to a sub-basement room that likely sheltered escaping slaves.

Armstrong House had fallen into very poor condition after being abandoned for some time.  The restoration project brought it back to its mid 19th century appearance, removing inappropriate flat-roofed additions and other modern alterations.  Artefact conducted research into the building’s history and and developed the design for restoration while C.F. Portner produced the construction documents.


Cathedral Church of the Nativity

The original portion of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity, located in South Bethlehem, dates from c. 1863 and was designed by E. T. Potter. This portion became the transept in 1884 when E. M. Burns added the current nave and chancel.

Artefact was retained by the church in 1995 to design a connection between the sanctuary and the 1939 Parish Hall and to provide elevator access to all levels of the church and parish hall. Several years later, Artefact was asked to replace a long-lived “temporary” wood and glass entry vestibule with a new stone-fronted narthex.

The connector was designed to be a light wood and glass structure with a stone arched loggia supporting it. The details of the stone columns recall the detailing of the existing church, but as interpreted for construction in the 20th century. The narthex addition to the front of the church utilized the pointed arch of the existing front door. Each element of the resulting connected complex reflects the time period in which it was constructed, but the whole retains a remarkable unity and cohesiveness.