Whitman School Restoration

Grand Junction, Colorado

The Whitman School was one of the four originally planned school/park sites when Grand Junction was platted in 1882. It housed grades one through four until declining enrollment forced its closure in 1962. In 1965 the City turned the building over to the Museum of Arts and Sciences (predecessor to the Museum of Western Colorado), which had it remodeled. The remodeling removed the west-facing win­dows and the front entry, and covered up the wood floors and high plaster ceilings of the classrooms.

When the Museum of Western Colorado rein­vented the Whitman School Building as an education and conference center, Chamberlin Architects designed the restoration to match as closely as possible the original construc­tion by using historic photographs, chemical anal­ysis of mortar, paint and plaster, and digging into the attic and the basement. During the construction, shat­tered wood trusses were discovered and repaired, significant floor slopes were leveled, and spalling masonry was replaced with new bricks