Washington Park Zoo Greenhouse

Michigan City Redevelopment Commission
Michigan City, IN

Historic Building Assessment and Restoration

Following a study of the Washington Park Zoo Greenhouse by WJE and KW Garner Consulting and Design, the Michigan City Redevelopment Commission engaged WJE to restore the Greenhouse and property for an adaptive reuse as a storage facility for the local fire and police services in Michigan City, Indiana.


Listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places, Washington Park is home to many buildings that were constructed as part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA).

The former park administration building and garage, now referred to as the Greenhouse, was constructed in 1934 for Washington Park.

The Greenhouse and Garage had been neglected for many decades without use and suffered severe deterioration of the structure, roof, and interior finishes.


WJE acted as the design team lead and structural engineer of record for the project. WJE coordinated and managed services of multiple subconsultants, including KW Garner Consulting and Design (interiors and landscaping), Loftus Engineers (MEP), and Kimley-Horn and Associates (civil).

The design of the restoration included replacement of the original slate tile roof and exterior walls. The interior was gutted and rebuilt with upgraded MEP systems and interior finishes sympathetic to the historic significance of the original building. The site plan for the property incorporated new parking surfaces as well as landscape features to create a functional property for the public safety services that would occupy the building.

WJE led the construction administration services for the design team managing the construction period of the project with the general contractor, and ensured that the project met the expectations of the Michigan City Redevelopment Commission and the community.