Riversdale, a National Historic Landmark, is a restored, five-part, stucco-covered brick plantation home built between 1801 and 1807 just outside Washington D.C. The home is a prime example of Neo-Palladian architecture. It was built for Belgian emigree Henri Stier and was, for a time, the repository of the family's collection of Old World master paintings (from National Parks Service).
The Riversdale home itself has been lovingly restored to its original grandeur. Unfortunately, the Visitor's Center had become an embarrasment. It was much too small to accomodate tour groups, staff, archives and other essentials.
As a National Historic Landmark, the construction of the new Visitor's Center needed to disrupt and damage the site as little as possible. The other major factor was the aesthetics: the building needed to complement the style of Riverdale itself. Further, disruption and traffic at the site needed to be minimal.
Whitley Manufacturing took on the task of constructing the Visitor's Center; taking design cues from Neo-Palladian architecture. The clerestory center allows natural daylighting and was prefabricated off-site along with the other building sections.
In less than six months, the new Visitor's Center was complete. The building is an attractive, complementing piece to the historic mansion itself. With Accelerated Construction taking place off-site, the disruption to the site and damage to the historic grounds was minimal. To keep future operating costs low, high efficiency HVAC and an extensive insulation package were installed.