Conner Prairie Chinese House
Client: Conner Prairie Interactive History Park
Location: Fishers, Indiana
Status: Completed Spring 2019
Size: 4,800 sf rehab/renovation | 6,800 sf addition
+ Project Architect, Preservation Specialist
+ Rehabilitation documentation
+ Addition design and detailing
+ Internal design team coordination
+ Direct client engagement
+ Design presentations
+ Consultant design coordination
+ Client assistance with bidding/value engineering
+ Construction Administration
(*completed while employed at RATIO)
The Chinese House at Conner Prairie was built c.1909 as a large country bungalow for the Atkins family of Indianapolis. Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly acquired the property in 1949, redecorating and furnishing the house to reflect his interest in Chinese art and culture. Lilly donated the property to Conner Prairie Interactive History Park in 1964, and the Chinese House has been rented for meetings and receptions since 1983.
Following the completion of a Condition Assessment Study for the preservation, rehabilitation, and improvement of the Chinese House, RATIO was engaged to implement their recommendations. The rehabilitation work included full exterior restoration, sensitive interior renovation work, site improvements, and an addition to provide a large banquet room with kitchen and storage space.
I was directly responsible for designing the addition, leading client design meetings, organizing and directing the internal and consultant design teams. creating construction documents, and seeing the project through construction and completion. The design allows the house and grounds to better serve Conner Prairie’s needs while maintaining and celebrating its historic character and natural setting, including old-growth forest and sensitive native plant communities.