The Austin House
The Austin House built in 1930 was given to the Wadsworth Atheneum in 1985. It documents the personal, intellectual and architectural explorations of a modern taste maker, A. Everett Austin, the Atheneum’s Director, who embraced a 20th century Neo-Baroque style which was developed by a few French and English aesthetes and which expressed “our century’s one great and wholehearted affirmation of delight in the richness and grandeur of things.”

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The Conceptual Plan prepared by the firm addressed the short- and long-term needs of the Austin House and was based on physical analysis and evaluations and numerous special reports developed by restoration and objects conservators over a period of ten years. It recommended within a strict Preservation Philosophy a series of physical changes to various areas of the building and grounds, its components, its systems and its collections. These changes incrementally improved the functioning of the building as a house museum and returned its exterior and interiors to their original appearance. This strategy of step-by-step changes allowed for flexibility in the sequencing of the work to reflect evolving changes in the use of the house by the Museum, to adapt to current interpretations of regulations and to address limits of available funding. In other words, unlike most restoration plans which envisioned an ideal state of historic re-creation, this Conceptual Plan identified physical changes which were necessary compromises carefully worked out over time but in accordance with its adopted Preservation Philosophy. The implementation of the Conceptual Plan was completed in 2007.


Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art


Hartford, Connecticut







QA+M Architecture is a full-service architectural firm that provides programming, planning and interior design for clients in commercial, community, education, healthcare, historical, housing, and recreational/athletic markets. Staffed by 34 dedicated professionals, including 14 licensed architects, QA+M has grown to be the 4th largest architectural firm in the Greater Hartford area.


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