Historic Restoration Experts

By / February 03, 2022

Historic Restoration of Fortress Building JP Cullen Project

JP Cullen has over $300 million in recent experience on projects that are on the National Register of Historic places, proving our expertise with historic restoration projects. From small projects like the Milwaukee Public Museum Exterior Restoration to massive projects like the Wisconsin State Capitol Restoration, we have a wide range of experience that will bring decades of historical knowledge to your project. This allows us to estimate costs more accurately, investigate options for the design team, and execute the project requirements with a strict attention to detail unlike our competition.

JP Cullen drone flying over Milwaukee


This project renovated a six-story, 193,000 sqft, brick-masonry structure that was previously a shoe and boot factory. The building, originally constructed in 1892, had many additions and renovations through 1978 resulting in five different building segments.

JP Cullen saved time and money for the owner by using BIM, specifically laser scanning and drone imagery, to identify issues up front before they impacted schedule or budget. In addition, just as with every JP Cullen project, there was an intense focus on putting the work in place as efficiently and safely as possible. Our masons were able to beat the estimated production rates, allowing the owner to reinvest savings of almost $300,000 into their building.


In 1897, the Milwaukee Soldiers Home opened on a 90-plus acre district, making it one of the three original soldier homes in the entire country. Over the years, these buildings were abandoned and have aged. As part of an Enhanced Use Lease Agreement with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the six buildings on the Civil War Era Milwaukee property are being restored and rehabilitated into an estimated 100 housing units for veterans and their families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

One of the major operations on this project was the restoration of the windows and dormers. About 500 windows needed to be removed, abated, restored, re-painted and re-installed.

A typical construction approach would involve removing the windows, sending them off site to be restored and then bringing them back on site for install.

But when planning for the project, the team found a way to complete all but one step of the window restoration process on site, saving the owner 39% on the cost of this operation. After removing each window unit for restoration, they were tagged with their location and then sent off site so the lead paint could be stripped off the windows. After, they were brought back on site to our shop where we completed the restoration process of the windows (repairing and glazing) and re-installed them.

Beyond costs, completing the majority of the window restoration on site also saved on schedule and improved quality, as our carpenters could make any alterations to the fit or build back on the spot.

Send me an email at to talk through your historical restoration project and how JP Cullen can help you through this process.