Berwick Academy – Administration Building
South Berwick, Maine
Founded in 1791, Berwick Academy is an independent coeducational country day school and is also Maine’s oldest school. The campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Burleigh-Davidson House, at the heart of the campus, is one of the significant structures on campus. Constructed in 1893, the house has long been the center of campus life, yet it had received little updating to its life safety and accessibility systems.
Our work with Berwick Academy involved several phases. Beginning with a master plan, which resolved complex improvements to universal accessibility, fire and life safety for current and projected use, and, at the same time preserved the building’s historic character. Other work included the construction of a new entrance porch and ramp, new entry lobby, new internal stairs and restoration of the existing monumental stairs.
The new entrance porch at the rear of the building serves as a main entrance for students and teachers utilizing the classrooms on the second and third floor. The columns of the new entrance porch recall the original front entrance, which is reserved for use of the administrative offices. The barrel vaulted entrance addition serves to further blend the new addition with the playful forms of the pedimented dormers and round towers of the original historic building.
Special Features: The new porch engages the campus lawn to create a welcoming focal point to draw students and faculty to a new accessible entrance at the rear of the building.