Preserving Parks and History with the National Park Service
Alvine Engineering has a long history of working with the National Park Service (NPS) on a variety of projects, ranging from well-known landmarks to historic sites, helping to educate people on American history and culture.
While how parks are designed can vary, the main feature of parks remains constant. Parks allow us, an “indoor species”, to get outdoors! Nature can have such an impact on mental health that developers and companies are looking for more ways to bring the outdoors indoors, incorporating green roofs, living walls, and programs such as the WELL Building Standard™.
Here are a few of our favorite NPS projects that showcase how modern engineering design allows future generations to enjoy pieces of our nation’s history for years to come!
Welcome to the Top | St. Louis Arch
What is more symbolic of St. Louis, Missouri than the Gateway Arch? In 2013, the Alvine team, including Mike Gregory, the mechanical designer pictured left, worked to replace the outdated, inefficient heating and cooling units in the Arch’s legs with more efficient high-pressure air terminal units. This was done by carefully navigating the Arch’s interior stairs that become smaller, more cramped, and difficult to climb as you progress up the Arch. Thanks to the upgrades, visitors can make the trip to the top of the Arch comfortably and safely.
Lighting the Way | Rasberry Island Lighthouse Restoration
The Raspberry Island Lighthouse, located on the Apostle Island of Bayfield, Wisconsin, had been unoccupied for several decades when the NPS decided they wanted to provide on-site living quarters for seasonal staff. Alvine Engineering, committed to honoring the property’s historic integrity, worked diligently to bring modern plumbing systems, ventilation, an upgrade of the existing power system, and a complete fire sprinkler system to this historic property built in 1906. The lighthouse and residence, originally constructed to serve as a mark of the then-new port, now has the engineering systems required for seasonal staff to live comfortably during the summer months and remains a popular landmark in Wisconsin.
Before the Whitehouse | Garfield Homestead
The James A. Garfield National Historic Site is a National Park in Mentor, Ohio that provides visitors an opportunity to travel back to the 1880s with tours of President Garfield’s home and grounds. This project’s scope included replacing the aging heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system in the Garfield Home, all without disturbing the historic fabric of the house. Like many historical sites, careful consideration was made in selecting modern-day systems that could seamlessly work unseen in a nearly 130-year-old house! The result, a more comfortable and inviting environment for visitors.
While Alvine Engineering’s NPS projects have evolved over the years, their reminder to get out and enjoy the outdoors remains! Don’t just take our word for it. Get outside and visit a National Park today!