Public/Private Client: Archbold Biological Station
Location: Venus, Florida
Role in Project: Principal
During 1930-33, John A. Roebling, II (1867-1952), grandson of John A. Roebling, designing engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge, and son of Washington Roebling, who built the Brooklyn Bridge, built six concrete buildings, and a 70,000 gallon steel, water-storage tank, for his 1,058-acre Red Hill Estate in southern Highlands Co., Florida. The extraordinary Roebling buildings, in Industrial Vernacular design with pigmented coquina stucco, soundly built of poured concrete using excellent materials and construction practices, were originally the support and storage facilities for a mansion that was never built. On July 28, 1941, Roebling gave his Red Hill Estate to Richard Archbold (1907-76), a biological explorer and patron of science. Thus, Archbold founded the Archbold Biological Station and became the Resident Director. At his death in 1976, he left his fortune as a permanent endowment, and with Archbold family leadership, the Station continues to thrive.
The project was focused on the restoration of the historic roof of the Main Building including the seven storehouse modules, with their imposing saw-tooth construction, and the more traditional Main Residence south section. The funding of the project was from two separate Florida DHR Special Category Awards (one for four roof modules, the other for the remaining three roof modules and the Main Residence section) and with matching funds from Archbold Biological Station. Although funding was in two phases the timing of the construction process was essentially continuous during March – November 2007.
Photographs provided by Hilary M. Swain, Executive Director of Archbold Biological Station or Bert G. Crawford, III, Operations Manager of Archbold Biological Station
In addition to full service building and renovation design, MLD Architects has extensive experience in roof design and consultation. Randy Lewis is a recognized roofing systems expert, and has written articles for Florida AIA magazine and Florida Roofers magazine. MLD Architects has earned an excellent reputation for diagnosing roof problems, and offering corrective solutions. Due to his expertise, Mr. Lewis has provided expert testimony on numerous cases.