Adaptive Reuse

 

Written by Kayla Jonas, heritage planner and blogger at Adventures in Heritage

London's Big Ben at dusk. Credit: Stuck in Customs, flickr
London's Big Ben at dusk

The #builtheritage chat, which focuses on heritage and preservation issues, is celebrating its two-year anniversary in March. The chat started with an idea, some Twitter conversation, and finally emails -- and a plan -- between the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the USA, and myself, a heritage consultant in Ontario, Canada.

The spirit of the chat has always been communication and collaboration. We’ve had several chats focused on partners' programs, such as one with Habitat for Humanity on their rehabilitation projects. So to celebrate our second anniversary, we’re partnering with our Twitter chat neighbor #citytalk, which focuses on broad urban issues and sustainability. Since this is a special chat, both because of our anniversary and our amazing partner, we’ve decided to revisit our very first topic: adaptive reuse.... Read More →

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

Although we're always on the lookout for blog content, we encourage readers to submit story ideas or let us know if you've seen something that might be interesting and engaging for a national audience. Email us at editorial@savingplaces.org.

 

By Robert Verrier, FAIA, NCARB

Boott Mills, before and after its adaptive reuse. Credit: Lowell Historical Society; Bruce T. Martin/The Architectural Team
Boott Mills, before and after its adaptive reuse

Human energy is the force behind successful economic development -- even when that energy began centuries ago. Along with my partner Michael Binette, I saw the power of this fact unfold around Boott Mills in Lowell, Massachusetts, one of the oldest surviving cotton textile mill yards in the United States -- and an engine of the city’s rebirth.

Tax credit incentives were a key to the city’s success, helping restore one of America’s most dramatic historic sites while also injecting vitality and pride into a now-flourishing neighborhood and tourist attractions. It’s also a good case study in what a community can achieve with tax incentives, foresight, and positive energy.... Read More →

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

Although we're always on the lookout for blog content, we encourage readers to submit story ideas or let us know if you've seen something that might be interesting and engaging for a national audience. Email us at editorial@savingplaces.org.

A Modern Take On Serving Veterans At Leavenworth Building 19

Posted on: February 28th, 2013 by Katherine Flynn

 

The exterior of the new medical records facility at night. Credit: Rick Kready/The Pioneer Group
The exterior of the renovated building, now a VA medical records facility.

Leavenworth Building 19 in Leavenworth, Kansas doesn’t look much different on the outside from when it was built in 1886, but that’s the idea. It has the same Romanesque Revival architecture, the same charming red brick exterior, and the same row of dormer windows lining the slanted roof.

On the inside, though, Building 19 is every inch a state-of-the-art office building, chock full of modern amenities and bright white lights. It’s come a long way since its days as the dining hall of the Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, a campus built in the 1880s to house Civil War veterans. In 2012, the repurposed building was recognized with a Preservation Honor Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.... Read More →

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.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an editorial assistant at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.

Historic Power Plants: A Tricky (But Rewarding) Resource to Adapt

Posted on: February 6th, 2013 by Michael R. Allen 1 Comment

 

This is the final installment of our guest series on the remarkable transformation of a hospital power plant in St. Louis. This week looks at other American examples of power plant reuse and examines what makes the City Hospital project unique. Read the series to date.

Seaholm Power Plant in Austin, Texas. Credit: Thelonious Gonzo, flickr
Seaholm Power Plant in Austin, Texas.

The Power Plant at City Hospital is the only historic power plant building in the United States that has been reused for a large-volume recreational purpose. Power plants remain difficult buildings to reuse due to their large open volumes, which have to be retained to some extent to qualify for historic tax credits.

A survey of adaptive reuse projects at historic American power plants shows that they tend to be used for office, retail and even residential space. It’s common for floors to be added in these configurations, making it even more significant that the City Hospital Power Plant retained its original space.... Read More →

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.

Michael R. Allen

Michael R. Allen is the Director of the Preservation Research Office in St. Louis, which he founded in 2009. Recent activities include learning video editing and naming his cat after Oscar Niemeyer.

The Power Plant Renovation: Imagination Becomes Adaptation

Posted on: January 30th, 2013 by Michael R. Allen 2 Comments

 

This is part 4 of our guest series on the remarkable transformation of a hospital power plant in St. Louis. Last week covered the plant's closure and deterioration, but today's post shares its exciting rebirth. Read the series to date.

Power Plant exterior after renovation. Credit: Climb So iLL
The Power Plant after renovation.

In 2010, the long-awaited renovation of the Power Plant building began, centered on finding a new use for the purpose-built structure. Developer Chris Goodson of Gilded Age partnered with Environmental Operations, Inc. to complete the renovation, and together they found an ideal match: Climb So iLL, a climbing gym looking for the ultimate home.... Read More →

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.

Michael R. Allen

Michael R. Allen is the Director of the Preservation Research Office in St. Louis, which he founded in 2009. Recent activities include learning video editing and naming his cat after Oscar Niemeyer.