Northwest Media Studios

Lewiston, Idaho

This award winning design for historic rehabilitation of the Wildenthaler Building was completed by CKA with extensive input from the building owner and tenant. The original building was built in successive phases between 1899 and 1909 by Seraphin Wildenthaler who was among Lewiston's oldest pioneers and one of its most substantial citizens. In 2009 the building rehabilitation was awarded the "People's Choice" Orchid Award for excellence in historic preservation design.

This project was truly a team effort between the building owner, tenant, architect and general contractor. From the very beginning of the project the team felt that it was important to maintain the historic significance of the building even though the building was in a state of extensive disrepair. Character defining elements of the building were identified, retained and preserved during the project. The architect followed the Secretary of the Interior's Guidelines for the Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings making possible a compatible use for the property through repair and alterations while preserving those portions and features which convey the building's history, cultural and architectural values. The design process included approval by the City of Lewiston's Historic Preservation Commission during the permitting process as required for construction within the historic district which the building is located in.

The new wood storefront was constructed matching the detailing and patterning of the original storefront as seen at the original 210 Main Street portion of the Wildenthaler Building. Careful attention was provided to match column detailing in the vertical members of the wood storefront. Special treatment of the required new structural steel columns that were added was provided. The new columns were required to support stressed steel lintel beams supporting load bearing brick. These columns were wrapped by the wood storefront members providing a seamless appearance.

The interior stair was so deteriorated that it was rebuilt using the exiting stair stringers while providing new wood treads and risers matching the existing material and profiles. Interior character defining spaces and elements were preserved or replaced depending on the extent of deterioration. Much of the existing plaster was removed exposing the brick and a mural located on the west wall of the original 1899 portion of the building. This mural was preserved. Interior trim was installed matching the existing trim where salvage of existing trim was not possible.

Photos courtesy of Northwest Media Productions, Inc.

Image of the Northwest Media Studios Building Interior
Project Images