October 2021 Monthly Meeting

Meeting Title
Six Lessons Learned on Detailing for Durability from Six Iconic Houses

Live Zoom Webinar. Pre-registration is required at the link below.

Matthew Bronski

This presentation will explore how the details of iconic historic houses, both traditional and modernist, have contributed to their durability or lack thereof, and what we can learn from their successes and failures for both preservation and new design. Case studies will include the speaker’s assessment or restoration work on these six details from six iconic houses:

  1. Gropius House, designed by Walter Gropius, 1938, Lincoln MA, (window head and sill details)
  2. Johnson Thesis House, designed by Philip Johnson, 1942, Cambridge MA (wall to foundation detail)
  3. Zimmerman House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, 1951, Manchester, NH (clay tile roofing details)
  4. Palazzetto degli Anguillara (aka Casa di Dante), c. 1450, Rome Italy (roof to wall transition detail)
  5. Paul Revere House, 1680, Boston MA (enclosure form-finding)
  6. Palazzo Braschi, designed by Cosimo Morelli, 1790, Rome Italy (window surround details)

Matthew Bronski, P.E., is a Principal, and the Preservation Technology Practice Leader at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH), where he has practiced for the past 26 years. Matthew has led SGH’s projects on many iconic buildings, including many National Historic Landmarks. He has published over a dozen technical papers, and has served as a guest lecturer or critic at numerous universities, including Harvard, MIT, and Yale. He also serves as an instructor in the Getty Conservation Institute’s annual international course on conserving modern architecture. He holds a Bachelor's in engineering from Tulane, and Master's degrees in both architecture and historic preservation from Penn. In 2009, he became only the second engineer in 113 years to receive the prestigious Rome Prize, which he received in the field of Historic Preservation and Conservation.