Milwaukee is a hard-nosed town. It was built on heavy machinery, third shifters, and the no-nonsense beer they drank after the whistle blew. And though decades of decline had left the city largely stale and generally unpalatable, Milwaukeeans -- true to form -- brewed up a solution and followed a cue from one of their city’s icons, Pabst Blue Ribbon: They started to take old Milwaukee and make it cool again.... Read More →
When Christopher Warren decided to restore a cottage in Boca Raton, Fla., built in 1926 and designed by renowned South Florida architect Addison Mizner, his top priority was turning it into a comfortable living space for his five-person family.
It wasn’t until he spoke with architect Larry Barrow that he started to consider the possibility that they could accomplish that goal while also making the former one-story cottage as green as possible.... Read More →
When most people think of James Madison’s Montpelier, they think of it as the home of America’s 4th president and the birthplace of what was to become the Constitution of the United States. But there’s another side to this bastion of American democracy that sits near the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains about 90 minutes southwest of Washington, D.C.
More than just the iconic mansion, Montpelier sits of 2,650 acres of land that includes gardens, archaeological sites, forested trails, and old-growth forests. Much of the landscape is nearly the same as it was when Madison actually lived here, and that’s by design. Madison himself would be proud.... Read More →
An array of solar PV panels added in 2004 to the Bedford, Ohio post office. The panels are mounted in such a way that they act as shades during the summer and allow sun in for natural heat during the winter.
The 1934 post office in Bedford, Ohio, was recently renovated as office space, so when Preservation magazine was looking for adaptive reuse post office projects for a photo essay, it was a natural candidate. But as we learned more about the renovation, we knew that just a caption and a photo in the magazine wouldn’t be enough.
While working with Chuck Miller to learn more about the post office his firm Doty & Miller Architects adapted as its offices, I found out that in 2007 the renovation earned a LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council -- the first Gold certification in the United States for a freestanding architect’s office.
Always intrigued by the balance of preservation and sustainability, I circled back with Miller to find out how the firm went about greening the building. ... Read More →
By Robert Verrier, FAIA, NCARB
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 →