Mapped through the development of a Cultural Landscape Report and Historic Structures Report, the rehabilitation of Peirce Mill and its surrounding site highlights QEA’s holistic approach to historic preservation projects. 

Through coordinated teamwork with the National Park Service and the non-profit Friends of Peirce Mill, Quinn Evans Architects researched the history of the landscape and its buildings then designed the rehabilitation and authentic interpretative experience of the only remaining 19th-century grist mill site in Washington, DC. Today, returned to production and operating under renewed water power, the site is open to visitors.


  • Prepared historic structures report and cultural landscape report
  • Comprehensive site and building rehabilitation
  • 4,500 sf 19th century grist mill on a 20.7 acre site
  • Listed on the National Register of Historic Places
  • Built in the 1820's and operated commercially until 1897


  • 2013 Historic Preservation Award of Merit, AIA | Virginia Society
  • 2013 Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation, DC Preservation League and DC Office of Planning

© Ron Blunt Photography

CLR + HSR = Cultural Resource Management

Quinn Evans Architect’s work for Peirce Mill represents a holistic approach to cultural resource management. In the development of a Cultural Landscape Report and a Historic Structures Report, the design team documented the history and evolution of the historic 19th century site and the structures that began as a 160-acre farm complex built by Isaac Peirce along Rock Creek. The reports included strategies for the building and site that served as a guide in defining the preservation and development work to restore and adapt this property as an authentic demonstration museum for visitors.

Building an Authentic Experience

A primary project goal was to create a cultural destination with an interpretive demonstration of the authentic 19th century milling practices which took place at the site. The rehabilitation project leveraged 21st century technologies to supply water and power to the waterwheel and once again make it operational. This included new 40-horsepower pumps to re-circulate water within a newly constructed headrace. The project encompassed site work for both interpretive and visitor needs. A recreated mill yard and historic road provide arrival space for visitors and an accessible path to the Mill.

<small>© Ron Blunt Photography</small><small>© Ron Blunt Photography</small><small>© Ron Blunt Photography</small><small>© Ron Blunt Photography</small>