Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

Envelope Restoration & Art Storage Renovation

Project at a Glance

Hartford, CT


SmithEdwards Architects and Ann Beha Architects

Project Type


Project Overview

  • Complex logistical planning to address working in an occupied building, while maintaining high security around priceless art
  • Maintaining the high safety and quality standards of our strict Indoor Air Quality Plan throughout construction, to protect both people, and art
  • Early, pre-construction involvement with the design team allowed us to manage and build the project efficiently, leaving project funds available for the institution’s future

Wadsworth Atheneum, the oldest public art museum in the United States, is a striking example of Gothic Revival architecture that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. To preserve and restore this important historic landmark, Consigli performed a complete exterior envelope restoration, extensive HVAC upgrades, and gallery renovations. The scope of work included roof, parapet, skylight, and masonry facade repairs, as well as installation of new waterproofing details to maintain the integrity of the building envelope. Interior repairs were also performed to the plaster walls and ceilings within select gallery spaces. This large-scale project entailed all five of the museum’s buildings, and recaptures 8,000 sq. ft. of program space for expanded gallery use.

In a following phase, we built another component of their five-year renovation project—new state-of-the-art storage in support of the institution’s 50,000 works of art. This first phase of the art storage facilities construction focused on the renovation of the basement to create and outfit storage rooms for its furniture, metalwork, ceramics, glass, and sculpture collections. The new facility, which includes all new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, also improves security, maximizes storage efficiency and creates work spaces for staff and scholars.