Think Design

Architecture & Interior Design


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Think Design, LLC  |  Milwaukee, Wisconsin  |  Architecture + Interior Design

Carriage House Historic Renovation

American Decorative Arts Scholar Retreat Center


The mission of this small, but highly regarded academic foundation revolves around three main areas of scholarship: historic American furniture, the production and use of ceramics in early America, and new approaches to museum display and artifact interpretation.  The foundation headquarters is located in a wealthy residential neighborhood and situated on approximately eleven acres along a high, wooded lake bluff.  In addition to the main residential building, which now serves as foundation office and meeting space, the grounds include a large carriage house, and an adjacent house occupied by the foundation director.


Based in a Midwestern city, but attracting scholars from the United States and abroad, the foundation is in the process of renovating their existing carriage house to accommodate expanded programs and better support the needs of their academic community.  Specifically, the foundation plans to create a new Summer Institute and Scholar Retreat Center which will provide intensive educational programs and residential accommodations for curators and scholars that are held onsite at the foundation headquarters during summer months.  Sessions will merge lectures and classroom work with intensive hands-on analysis of artifacts, live craft demonstrations by expert potters, and day visits to area museums and private collections.  The renovated facility will accommodate up to ten scholars and/or students per session and provide space for sleeping, eating and study.


When completed, participants in the programs and other onsite events will reside in the renovated Carriage House, a 1901 Elmer Gray designed structure converted into a state-of-the-art scholar’s residence featuring individual rooms with private baths.  Carriage House residents will have twenty-four hour access to a common room, kitchen, and dining room, and a study center that includes private study carrels, phone, fax, research/reference computers, scanner and printers.  A lecture room with digital projectors and audio will be wired for video conferencing and electronic classroom teaching.


LOCATION: Fox Point, Wisconsin
STATUS: Fundraising
SIZE: 5,000 sf  Carriage House and Master Planning for the Grounds
PROGRAM: Historic renovation for a Scholar Retreat Center



Think Design – Milwaukee, Wisconsin – Architecture & Interior Design

Carriage House

American Decorative Arts Scholar Retreat Center

Fox Point, WI


Think Design – Architecture + Interior Design