Sweet Auburn: The Magazine of The Friends 2021 Vol. 1 - Page 22

Wendall Kalsow , Gus Fraser , and Dave Barnett .


By Anna Moir Grants & Communications Manager

A long with Dave Barnett ’ s retirement , we ’ re honoring that of another person who has had enormous influence on Mount Auburn : architect and historic preservation consultant Wendall Kalsow . The award-winning Principal and President of McGinley Kalsow & Associates ( MKA ) has done seventeen preservation projects for us in the past seventeen years and has had a highly visible impact across the Cemetery .

From a 2004 exterior assessment of Bigelow Chapel to his Washington Tower preservation assessment in 2020 – 21 , Wendall has been part of an incredible range of projects . He ’ s worked on Story Chapel , the Administration Building , and our Egyptian Revival Gateway , plus Bigelow Chapel and the Tower . And the teamwork he built with Dave and Gus Fraser ( Vice President of Preservation and Facilities )
has further strengthened the collaboration — making Wendall and Dave ’ s retirements even more bittersweet for Mount Auburn .
As Gus reflects , “ I ’ ve learned a tremendous amount — I can ’ t even begin to list — from working with Wendall and his team . My job is to absorb from them what ’ s the proper thing to do , explain it to Dave and the Trustees , and hopefully guide us along a path . But you know , I ’ m just learning every day on the job with Wendall . So I know I ’ ve benefited professionally throughout that entire period of seventeen projects .”
Wendall , Gus , and Dave have each brought their own strengths to the table . “ Facilities is certainly not my area of expertise , by a longshot ,” Dave points
Wendall and Dave pictured on scaffolding above Story Chapel in July 2019 .
out . “ But what we all have in common is interest in preservation and history . Our landscape includes the structures and buildings that make Mount Auburn what it is , so there ’ s been a common bond , with different areas of expertise to make it all work .”
“ I think that ’ s what has made the relationship so successful , is that commitment to preservation ,” Wendall observes . “ There ’ s been a commitment to get the right contractors , which has been so nice in terms of projects going smoothly , as well as the level of craftsmanship the contractors have shown . It ’ s been a real honor for me individually , as well as for our office , to be involved with Mount Auburn . It ’ s been a very special relationship .”
Due to his leadership in recent assessments and architectural plans , Wendall will continue to influence the Cemetery well into the future . Dave finds this especially reassuring as he prepares for his own retirement : “ It ’ s important to me that the course has been charted , in a good way . The team is so strong , and hopefully it ’ ll keep carrying everything out . And Wendall ’ s team will continue doing well ; the people he ’ s helped train will keep having an impact in the historic preservation field . So I ’ m glad we ’ ve been part of charting the course for Mount Auburn , with enough flexibility that everyone ’ s hands aren ’ t tied , but the direction has been set .”
Wendall is retiring from full-time practice in fall 2021 but plans to continue some consulting on preservation projects .