Adaptive Reuse

Preservation Round-Up: Infill, Adaptation, and Discovery Edition

Posted on: November 17th, 2011 by David Garber


691 Massachusetts Ave. in Boston carries the rhythm of its older neighbors into a more contemporary look. (Photo: Chang Zhang of Urbanica, Inc.)

Contemporary building artfully fills a gap in South End neighborhood - The Boston Globe

"You might not even notice, walking or driving by, the new apartment building at 691 Massachusetts Ave. in the South End. That’s because it fits so beautifully into its historic neighborhood. But take a second look, and you realize that this building isn’t just deferential to its surroundings. It’s also fresh, inventive, confident, and contemporary. (So were its neighbors, long ago, when they were new.)"

372 Lafayette Street – Take Two! - Off the Grid

"Back in August, we wrote about 372 Lafayette Street, the proposed new building designed by Morris Adjmi that will – once given the go-ahead by the Landmarks Preservation Commission – occupy the site of the existing one-story garage on the corner of Great Jones Street in the NoHo Historic District. ... Today, the architect returned to the LPC with a revised design, which the Commission unanimously approved."

Details on Pearl’s hotel still sketchySan Antonio Express-News

A week after the Historic and Design Review Commission gave conceptual approval for a hotel at the Pearl, the developers are keeping the details close to the chest. According to preliminary plans submitted to the HDRC last week, the hotel is an adaptive reuse project of the Peal’s historic Brew House and Cellar buildings with selective demolition.

Jamestown Thought to Yield Ruins of Oldest U.S. Protestant Church - New York Times

For more than a decade, the marshy island in Virginia where British colonists landed in 1607 has yielded uncounted surprises. And yet William M. Kelso’s voice still brims with excitement as he plants his feet atop a long-buried discovery at the settlement’s heart: what he believes are the nation’s oldest remains of a Protestant church.

4 Groups Vying To Own Historic USS Olympia Pass Muster So Far - CBS Philly

The process of transferring the USS Olympia to a new caretaker is moving forward. Four of the six organizations that applied for ownership of the historic warship have made it through the latest phase of the transfer process. The Olympia, commissioned 116 years ago this month, saw action in the Spanish-American War as Commodore Dewey’s flagship, and after World War I brought the body of the Unknown Soldier back from France.

Lego Architecture’s Robie House: My Favorite Lego Kit Yet - Wired

"After opening the box, I was immediately drawn to the instruction manual with its thick and glossy pages. I had to get right to building, but I also wanted to read through the other information. In addition to the many, many steps for building this model, the manual includes plenty of history and background about the Frederick C. Robie House and about Frank Lloyd Wright to put your build in context. It includes some detailed description of the design and construction of the house, and plenty of photographs and copies of the house plans."

How times have changed in New York City! Extraordinary colour photographs reveal 1940s life in the Big Apple in all its glory - The Mail

It’s been 70 years since an Indiana photographer visited New York City and returned home with an amazing collection of holiday snaps. But Charles Weever Cushman’s pictures are even more impressive today, as they were taken on pricey colour Kodachrome and look far more recent than they actually are.

Images of America in Crisis in the 1970s - The Atlantic

As the 1960s came to an end, the rapid development of the American postwar decades had begun to take a noticeable toll on the environment, and the public began calling for action. In November 1971, the newly created Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a massive photo documentary project, called DOCUMERICA, to record these changes. More than 100 photographers were hired not only to document specific environmental issues, but to capture images of everyday life, showing how we interacted with the environment and capturing the way parts of America looked at that moment in history.

 David Garber is a member of the Digital and New Media team at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Re-Purposing Nebraska’s Early 20th Century Federal Buildings

Posted on: September 13th, 2011 by Guest Writer


Written by  Laurie Richards

Nebraska has some amazing examples of re-purposed federal buildings across the state.

Ariel shot of the Grand Manse in Lincoln, NE.

Ariel shot of the Grand Manse in Lincoln, NE.

In Lincoln, the Grand Manse is located in the 1904 federal building that housed the US Post Office and federal offices. In addition to apartments and offices, the building now houses The Blue Orchid restaurant and a grand hall for weddings and receptions. The original US Court Room, most famous for the 1973 Wounded Knee Trials, is also available for meetings and receptions.  The building’s tenacious private developer and management have saved a historic register property from the wrecking ball and made a huge addition to Lincoln’s economic and cultural vibrancy.

Another excellent example of adaptive use is in Kearney where the 1911 Post Office was re-purposed as the Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA).  The building was slated to be demolished by the city when a group of visionaries and arts supporters stepped forward and put a plan together to not only completely remodel the inside and restore the exterior, but to include a tasteful addition and sculpture garden on the site.

The Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA) in Kearney, NE.

The Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA) in Kearney, NE.

Other cities across the state that have re-purposed their historic federal buildings include  Fremont, which now houses the Fremont Chamber of Commerce, convention and visitor’s bureau, community foundation offices , and the Main Street office;  and Plattsmouth, where the historic Post Office building is now City Hall.

North Platte envisions their former Post Office becoming an arts center.  North Platte’s Creativity Unlimited Arts Council has an amazing vision for the historic 1913 federal building on the corner of Fifth and Jeffers downtown.  If they are successful, the new Prairie Arts Center will be a wonderful addition to downtown North Platte.

The old Post Office in downtown McCook is now an antique store and part of a cluster of historic buildings on each corner of the intersection with historic Norris Avenue, named after the founder of the Unicameral Legislature system (Nebraska’s legislative branch has only one house) and one of the founders of rural electrification through the Tennessee Valley Authority.

In Scottsbluff, the old Post Office in the Panhandle Community has been re-purposed as offices for an engineering and architecture firm.

Nebraska has been successful with re-purposing federal buildings statewide. Each one represents the stories of successful community projects and private development that preserve our heritage and tell our story.

Laurie Richards is the eastern field representative Heritage Nebraska, in Partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Guest Writer

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