Mount Pleasant was the name Edward J. Wren gave the Romanesque style mansion that occupied 2.37 acres on North Limestone Street. It was showing signs of severe deterioration when the property was purchased in July of 1999. Much of the restoration work at that time had yet to be determined. The restoration and renovation would take over 30 months. The investment was significant in terms of the personal commitment made, considering that much of the work was done in-house, but it proved to be well worth it in the end – a restored historic landmark.

Wren, an Irish immigrant, came to Springfield in 1873, he moved his family here and started his new business – a department store that would become a fixture in the community for nearly a century. Wren’s gained a reputation of high integrity and he built his business on that basis. He was very attentive to paying his bills on time and deliberate about personally greeting customers – attributes that endeared him within commercial and social circles. He was always there to lend a helping hand with charitable causes – he was one of this community’s most “loved and loyal citizens.”

The 6,000 square foot residence, was tastefully detailed in fine Walnut wood. Edward J. Wren had a reputed refined taste, which was reflected in the products carried by Wren’s Department Store, as well as in his personal attire and home furnishings. Ornate stairs, fine detailed woodwork, and colorful stained glass can be found throughout the Wren mansion. At the time when the property was built, around the mid-1880s, everything was handmade – painstakingly made by skilled craftsmen. Among the many architectural adornments – trifoils. Trifoils that resemble small Shamrocks are dotted along the roof trim – reminiscent of the symbol of “good luck” from Wren’s native Ireland.

“We tried to salvage whatever we could out of respect for the historic nature of the house,” said Kori Grimm. Grimm was an associate who had done most of the extensive research on the property before the restoration. “Inside the home each room needed its plaster walls either completely restored or substantially repaired. Many of the main and upper living rooms have magnificent wood and tile work mantles, fireplaces and hearths. Each fireplace is different – and each one is beautiful,” Grimm said.

The Wren Hill office is currently undergoing an upgrade, Tectonic is redesigning it’s current floor plan to enable greater flexibility and improved interface with their clients. Karen Beasley, architect from Bellefountaine, is assisting with the redesign of the space. The new design provides improved workflow, integrated technical capabilities – incorporating additional AV, computer, and digital presentation technology. At some point in the future, Simonton would like to restore the wooden porch that dominated the front of the house and wrapped around the southeast corner of the home.

“This historic place reflects the qualities that Tectonic aspires to,” said Simonton. “Quality, Integrity, dedication, personal care and customer service. – I believe Edward Wren would be pleased to see what we have done here.”



  1. Adaptive Reuse Historic Renovation of 19th Century Estate into Modern Office Facility

  2. Building Type: Historic Professional Multi-story Office

• Size: 3 Story, 2,800/Floor

• Exterior: Brick Plaster Stone

  1. Interior: Wood slat wall and wood framing, plaster ceilings, integrated communications, data, network, and

  acoustic insulation.

  1. Fire Rating: Walls ASTM E119, Ceilings ASTM E119, Roof

  ASTM E119

• Finish: Per GA-214 Levels

• Manufacturer's Certificate:

  Certification products meet or

  exceeds specified sustainable

  design requirements

• Energy Efficiency: Chapter 80,

  Quality Level III Performance

• Health/Safety: Certified

  ASTM Level III

• Availability: 1,000 SF with Suite

  Sizes From 500 - 3,000 SF

Edward J. Wren was know for his refined taste and impeccable style, his former residence is tastefully detailed in fine Mahogany wood and period ornamentation.

Built in the 1880s, the architecture of the Wren house is Romanesque with Flemish gables.