Adaptive reuse projects can cause a lot of problems in the design and development phases, but the solutions are often awe-inspiring.
The projects below showcase some of the best adaptive reuse projects that have been submitted for MFE Awards in recent years. From a crumbling old facade left vacant for years to a freshly polished living space that brings back a bit of America's history, these developments prove how revamping an old building can literally turn around an entire neighborhood.
Once you've found some inspiration in these selected projects, don't forget to enter your own adaptive reuse projects (and others) in the 2016 MFE Awards!
For years, Randolph Tower blighted the block it occupied in Chicago’s business district. It wasn’t unheard of for pieces of the terra-cotta façade of the building, built in 1929, to chip and fall on pedestrians walking below. Then Village Green stepped in to rehabilitate the building to its old glory.
WinnDevelopment used state and federal historic tax credits to transform two historic mill buildings into mixed-income housing, 95 percent of which has been set aside for workforce housing. Today, the 1860s-era buildings offer 75 apartment units that are twice the size of those in most modern communities, with large windows and 20-foot ceilings.
When Forest City Residential decided to take on a development project in the historic Washington, D.C., Navy Yard, it noticed right away that much of the construction around the site was brand-new. But the company wanted to preserve the history of Foundry Lofts, as a large-scale woodworking shop and pattern storehouse.
In 2006, Harrison Commons began remediation of a former industrial and warehouse site in Harrison, N.J. As the first building in a multiphase revitalization of the run-down area, the four-story, mixed-use property reflects the area’s industrial past, while showcasing contemporary architecture.
ElseWarehouse is a perfect example of the old adage TO not judge a book by its cover. Though the building exterior is plain, the inside is anything but ordinary. Renovation of a 1920s-era warehouse into a mixed-use community created a striking blend of modern features and original details.
When Vallejo, Calif. declared bankruptcy in 2008, two long-vacant, government-owned, landmark buildings—the original City Hall, built in 1872, and the Masonic Temple, built in 1917— slated for condo development went into foreclosure. However, Domus Development worked with the City to salvage and renovate the structures as the mixed-use Temple Art Lofts.
The conversion of a shuttered Baltimore
It was no small feat for St. Paul, Minn.–based developer Dominium to turn this 147-year-old brewery into a live–work–play community that revitalized its surroundings, which also happens to be our 2015 Editors' Choice Winner.
While most adaptive reuse projects aim to keep some of a building’s history intact, the redevelopment of The Melrose Theater managed to maintain the very essence of the 1940s movie scene.