Treanor Preservation Blog/News

Shoptalk: Chimera

2017-01-05 Posted By: Patty Weaver

Shoptalk—deciphering architectural and historic preservation jargon one word at a time!


a fantastic assemblage of animal forms so combined as to produce a single complete, but unnatural animal (Source: Cyril M. Harris, Editor. An Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Architecture, Dover Reprint, 1977 – McGraw-Hill, NY.);

Eight chimera stand sentinel on the Oklahoma State Captiol, two on each pediment. The stones were placed in 1916 and 1917 as part of the Capitol’s original construction. Each of these majestic winged lions was carved from a 400-cubic-foot block of Indiana limestone. The Shea, Donnelly and Gilberson Company was responsible for the production of these pieces.

Repetitive sculptural ornament on buildings, such as the chimeras, are not typically "signed" or marked. However, two of the Oklahoma State Capitol chimeras have the initials "C.W" chiseled into the rear flank. Research is underway to try to determine whose initials they are; they may represent the sculptor who designed the pieces, or the carver.

Chimera are sometimes confused with other mythological beasts, particularly griffins and sphinxes. Griffins are mythological beasts with a lion’s body and an eagle’s head and wings, also frequently with talons for front legs. Sphinxes typically have a human head on a lion’s body and may or may not have wings.

Oklahoma State Capitol ChimeraChimera at the Oklahoma State Capitol (south facing on west pediment).

Oklahoma State Capitol Chimera with InitialsC.W initials chiseled into the flank of the east facing chimera on the Oklahoma State Capitol’s north pediment.

Oklahoma State Capitol ChimeraC.W. initials chiseled into the flank of the west facing chimera on the Oklahoma State Capitol’s south pediment.

Example of a GriffinIllustration of a griffin. (Image: Cyril M. Harris, Editor. An Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Architecture, Dover Reprint, 1977 – McGraw-Hill, NY.)

Exmple of a SphinxAssyrian sphinx “Future” facing west, shielding its eyeswith its wings from an unknown future. (Photo: Building a Nation: Indiana Limestone Photograph Collection, Indiana Geological Survey, Indiana University,, accessed Jan. 4, 2017.)

Carey & Co Joins TreanorHL

2016-10-06 Posted By: Patty Weaver

Carey & Co., a prominent architectural and preservation firm headquartered in San Francisco, has joined TreanorHL, a national architectural firm with a highly successful preservation practice

“Looking toward the future, we decided it was time to join forces with a like-minded firm,” commented Nancy Goldenberg, Carey & Co principal. “We intentionally searched for a firm that cared as much about historic architecture as we do. TreanorHL quickly rose to the top as the most compatible firm with a studio solely focused on historic preservation.” 

Carey & Co.’s award winning historic preservation and architectural services align with the values and expertise of the TreanorHL Preservation studio. Both firms believe that older and historic buildings are an essential part of contemporary communities. 

“As one firm we will work to connect the past to the present by restoring and rehabilitating historic buildings for contemporary uses,” said K. Vance Kelley, TreanorHL Preservation principal. “Carey & Co. will continue to provide the high-quality services its clients have grown to expect. The only notable change to the company is the name. It is now referred to as Carey & Co., a TreanorHL Company.”

As it did before, Carey & Co will continue to specialize in historic preservation, providing architectural design, materials conservation, cultural resource assessment, historic resource surveying/planning, and historic district master planning services. 

“Bringing Carey & Co. into the TreanorHL family was an easy choice,” said Dan Rowe, TreanorHL president. “Our similar values—dedication to restoring historic properties and commitment to our staff—made for a natural fit between our two firms. With their deep roots in California, we are excited about the opportunities to grow in the area.”

We are TreanorHL

2016-08-08 Posted By: Patty Weaver

Effective August 8, 2016, we are excited to announce our company name: TreanorHL.

“We considered several options during the renaming process—options ranging from a brand new name to keeping one of our current names—in the end we wanted to respect the nature of who we are,” said Dan Rowe, TreanorHL president and chief executive officer. “Our new name respects the long histories of both Treanor Architects and H+L Architecture while reflecting the aspirations of the new firm.”

The merger was announced in January 2016. Since then, leadership has united the firm by incorporating best practices and shaping focused studios based on the areas of expertise.

“A merger is announced in a singular moment, but the act of merging is an ongoing effort,” said Scott Kuehn, TreanorHL chief operating officer. “We have diligently combined our firms, working to maintain the best practices in project management and design. Because of our shared values and client-centered practice the process has gone well and our studios are a natural evolution of our practice.”

TreanorHL will continue to focus on areas of expertise and thought leadership, allowing us to provide the best solutions for each of our client’s specific needs. We have specialized Studios in design for advanced industries, education, healthcare, housing/mixed-use, justice, preservation, science and technology, and student life.

“While our name has evolved, our commitment to our clients, our communities, and our employees remains the same,” said Kuehn. “This strategic growth allows us to focus on our passion, such as healthcare, education, and advanced industries, while offering new services to the Denver and Colorado Springs communities.”


Dillon House Recognized as One of Preservation's Best of 2015

2016-03-14 Posted By: Patty Weaver

The Dillon House rehabilitation was recognized this past week as one of Preservation's Best of 2015. Every year Preservation Action, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Trust Community Investment Corporation recognize projects that demonstrate exemplary use of the Historic Tax Credit. The HTC is a driver of economic development in our nation's cities and small towns by taking historically significant buildings, that are underutilized and vacant, and turning them into viable community assets for our modern economy.

The awards presentation took place during the annual National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week's Congressional Reception in Washington, D.C.

Vance Kelley accepts the award on behalf of Treanor. L-R: Russ Carnahan, Preservation Action president, Shanon Miller, PA board chair, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, and Merrill Hoopengardner, National Trust Community Investment Corporation president.Vance Kelley accepts the award on behalf of Treanor. L-R: Russ Carnahan, Preservation Action president, Shanon Miller, PA board chair, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, and Merrill Hoopengardner, National Trust Community Investment Corporation president.

Shoptalk: Caen Stone Plaster

2016-02-04 Posted By: Patty Weaver

Shoptalk—deciphering architectural and historic preservation jargon one word at a time!

Caen stone plaster

a type of plaster mixed to look like the limestone quarried in northwestern France near the city of Caen, Normandy; a blend of  colored sand, pigment, mica and quartz that reproduces the sparkling look and texture of limestone (Sources: Cyril M. Harris, Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Architecture, Dover Publications, Inc., 1977.; Specialty Plaster LLC, Caenstone, accessed Feb. 4, 2016,

Caen stone plaster was created in an attempt to replicate the yellowish color and rippled-figure texture of the Caen stone used to build churches and prominent buildings in the medieval period. The plaster was popular from the late 1800s to the early 1900s and was applied over either lath or masonry as the finish coat or in all three coats of plaster. (Source: Association of the Wall & Ceiling Industry, Wachuwannano, accessed Feb 4, 2016,

First, let's look at an example of Caen stone.
Church of Saint-PierreThe Church of Saint-Pierre, constructed between the early 13th and 16th centuries in Caen, is an example of a building with Caen stone. Note the light, creamy-yellow color of the limestone. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Martin',, accessed Feb. 4, 2016.)

Now for an example of Caen stone plaster.
Caen stone plaster is present in the Great Overland Station's main waiting room. Drawings from the 1927 building, located in Topeka, Kan., show where "imitation Caen stone" should be installed.

Great Overland Station Main Waiting Room
Caen stone plaster was use to decorate a portion the waiting room walls.

Great Overland Station Clock Wall Elevation
This original elevation of the main waiting room clock indicates where "imitation Caen stone" should be used.

Great Overland Station Clock Wall
The main waiting room clock wall after restoration.

Great Overland Station Window Wall
This original elevation of the main waiting room wall facing the street indicates where "imitation Caen stone" should be used.

Great Overland Station Window Wall
The main waiting room after restoration.

Dillon House Honored with 2015 Timmy Award

2015-11-02 Posted By: Patty Weaver

The National Housing & Rehabilitation Association presented Topeka developer Pioneer Group the award for Best Commercial/Retail/Non-Residential project at the J. Timothy Anderson Awards for Excellence in Historic Rehabilitation for the rehabilitation of the Dillon House. The award was announced at the NH&RA’s annual ceremony in Boston.

The “Timmy Awards” honor outstanding real estate projects that involve the rehabilitation and preservation of older and historic buildings nation-wide.

Kan-Struct Awards Honors Kansas Statehouse

2015-10-16 Posted By: Patty Weaver

The Kansas Statehouse preservation and restoration was presented the Historic Renovation Award for Excellence by the Kan-Struct Awards. The award, sponsored by the AGC of Kansas, ACEC Kansas and AIA Kansas, was presented at the Kan-Struct 2015 convention in Wichita, Kan. 

Meet Our New Associate Principals

2015-10-08 Posted By: Patty Weaver

With specialized expertise and their eyes on the future, these people stand out in their ability to design spaces that inspire and connect people. Join us in congratulating Treanor’s new associate principals.

Chris Cunningham, AIA   Robert Koening, AIA, CHC
Chris Cunningham, AIA
Housing & Mixed-Use
Parking his blue GTI in front of our office early each morning is just the beginning of Chris’ dedication to his craft. Chris has the drive to deliver projects the way Treanor projects should be.

Robert Koenig, AIA, CHC
Curious to his core, Robert researches like a scholar and genuinely enjoys getting to know people. No matter where he is or the topic of conversation, Robert makes meaningful connections and brings people together to make the world more neighborly.
Lisa Lamb, IIDA, NCIDQ   Jeff Lane, AIA
Lisa Lamb, IIDA, NCIDQ
Interior Design
Integrity, thoughtfulness and razor-sharp design skills aren’t all that make Lisa capable of extraordinary feats. She makes problems vanish with her magic wand, solving them quickly, quietly and thoughtfully.

Jeff Lane, AIA
They say to dress for the job you want; Jeff acts that way. He strikes a perfect balance between confident independence and accountability to his team and peers. Relatable, honest, trustworthy—Jeff leads through his actions and celebrates the achievements of others.
Julia Manglitz, AIA LEED AP   Jerome Ratzlaff, AIA
Julia Manglitz, AIA LEED AP
Our resident rocket scientist (with a bachelor’s in aerospace engineering and a master’s in architecture) has been published internationally. From climbing 100-foot scaffolding to public speaking, Julia does all her own architecture stunts.

Jerome Ratzlaff, AIA
Science & Technology
In a world where architects have to fill a lot of tall orders, 6’6”Jerome is highly qualified in more than one way. Organized, focused, respected—Jerome quietly leads by example.
James Reittinger   Todd Renyer, AIA
James Reittinger
Student Life
As inspired as his sock collection, James exudes passion. As a teacher, innovator, and the director of design for our Student Life studio, James elevates those around him with a spirit of what could be.

Todd Renyer, AIA
An outdoorsman at heart, Todd enjoys cultivating his patch of land and the challenge of restoring the environment to its natural state. So it’s no surprise that he digs the challenge of rehabilitating historic buildings. Just like the historic buildings he advocates for, Todd is full of character that makes the community better.

Shoptalk: Terrazzo

2015-09-30 Posted By: Patty Weaver

Shoptalk—deciphering architectural and historic preservation jargon one word at a time!


a type of 16th-century Venetian marble mosaic in which Portland cement is used as a matrix (bonding agent); composite of small fragments of colored marble or other stone, embedded irregularly in cement or resin, ground and polished for a smooth finish; ); typically used in buildings for flooring, bases, borders, wainscoting, stair treads, partitions, and other wall surfaces (Source: Arthur E. Burke, J. Ralph Dalzell and Gilbert Townsend, Architectural and Building Trades Directory, American Technical Society, 1950.)


According to the National Terrazzo & Mosaic Association, terrazzo was first laid in the United States by Italian craftsman in 1890 in the Vanderbilt residence in New York City. Between an influx of highly skilled Italian immigrants and the invention of the electric grinder, terrazzo became the flooring of choice throughout the United States after World War I. (Source: National Terrazzo & Mosaic Association, Inc., A Brief History of Terrazzo, accessed Sep. 23, 2015.)

The Catalogue and Design Book, published in 1951, presented five reasons to install terrazzo that still stand today.
Catalogue and Design Book Page 38(Source: The National Terrazzo & Mosaic Association, Inc. and The Manufacturers Division Inc. of the N. T. & M. Association, Catalogue and Design Book, 3rd Edition, 1951, Page 38.)


Let’s see #4 in action. “Color and Deisgn—Terrazzo has a warmth and beauty. You may specifiy any design you wish—pictorial or geometric—in virtually any combination of colors.”

Terrazzo was used at the Kansas Masonic Grand Lodge to display the sqaure and compasses on the floor of the main entry hall.
Kansas Masonic Grand Lodge 2015


At Treanor’s Topeka office, Firehouse #5 built in 1935, terrazo was can be found throughout the first floor.
Treanor Topeka


The Catalogue and Design Book provided great design examples including this example of terrazzo used to advertise a product.
Treanor Topeka(Source: The National Terrazzo & Mosaic Association, Inc. and The Manufacturers Division Inc. of the N. T. & M. Association, Catalogue and Design Book, 3rd Edition, 1951, Page 109.)

Dillon House Wins 2015 AIA Kansas Excellence in Renovation/Preservation Merit Award

2015-09-17 Posted By: Patty Weaver

Treanor Architects’ Dillon House rehabilitation project was recognized at the AIA Kansas Design Awards with the 2015 Excellence in Renovation/Preservation Merit Award.

The judges commented that they "appreciated the true archival work here and the ambition to restore the interior spaces to their original" appearance.