St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Since its construction in the 1770’s, The Solhoj House has served as residence for many prominent St. Croix residents and their families, starting with Customs Manager (and likely acquaintance of another well-known St. Croix resident, Alexander Hamilton), Friderich Trott. Set within the current Christiansted National Historic District, this two-story, 4500 s.f. structure was badly deteriorated and in profound need of rehabilitation towards its new repurposed use as local office space. This need for serious rehabilitation extended to virtually all aspects of the building shell and its infrastructure, as well as the surrounding site and its former gardens.
After obtaining local Historic Preservation Approvals, the design and construction process set about carefully preserving the best, and correcting the worst, of the existing conditions. This included first stabilizing, and then enhancing the entire building and roof structure for greater hurricane resistance – a matter of paramount importance in the Virgin Islands. Doors, windows, and shutters were carefully selected or rebuilt to maintain appropriate historic character. While plumbing, electrical, and air conditioning systems represented complete upgrades, these systems were seamlessly integrated to be visually unobtrusive. The dignified and satisfying result has been an uplifting example and further redevelopment catalyst for both the surrounding neighborhood and local preservation community.