Historic preservation

An overview of projects, products and exclusive articles about historic preservation

Project • By Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & PlannersChurches

National Presbyterian Church Addition & Renovation

Following BBB’s 2016 Master Plan for the National Presbyterian Church, the project is the first major alteration since the completion of the building, designed by Harold E. Wagoner, in 1967. The Church is listed on the DC Inventory of Historic Sites. BBB designed two additions which expand the Main Church building; in the first, new meeting rooms clad in salvaged limestone with large glass entrances open onto the new outdoor terrace and an expanded roof terrace above, overlooking an existing garden. A second addition of a new rear entry seamlessly integrates with the historic fabric and welcomes visitors and members into the heart of the Church campus, with two new elevators serving all three levels of the Church. Within the main Chu... More

Project • By Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & PlannersRestaurants

Planet Word

Planet Word features three floors of interactive galleries and exhibits to engage visitors of all ages in experiencing words and language from a wide range of perspectives. BBB oversaw the preservation and rehabilitation of the Renaissance Revival building designed by Adolf Cluss, which is recognized as a National Historic Landmark. Opened in 1869 as the cornerstone of a comprehensive system of segregated education for the city of Washington, the school was chosen to house Planet Word for its rich history in public education and historic connection to the museum's mission. It was here that Alexander Graham Bell made the first wireless transmission of the human voice — words — using a Photophone, a precursor to fiber-optic techno... More

Project • By Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & PlannersLibraries

Harvard Undergraduate House Renewal Winthrop House

Winthrop House, comprised of two Neo-Georgian former freshman dormitory buildings from 1913, had undergone few upgrades since its construction. The renewal program re-envisioned Winthrop’s residential, academic, social, and co-curricular spaces and addresses technical challenges, including significant envelope upgrades, the installation of all-new mechanical systems, and detailed restoration work for the House’s signature public spaces. Amidst the sensitive context of Harvard’s River Houses, BBB also designed Robert M. Beren Hall, a distinctive 41-bed addition that includes shared amenities for undergraduates. Working with the House Renewal Project Management Office, Faculty of Arts & Sciences, the Faculty Deans, and s... More

Project • By Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & PlannersRestaurants

Capitol Crossing

BBB led the restoration and expansion of Holy Rosary Catholic Church, as well as the restoration and relocation of the historic Adas Israel Synagogue. The projects were coordinated with and integral aspects to the construction of Capitol Crossing, Property Group Partners’ transformative 2.2 million SF mixed-use development comprised of five new buildings in downtown Washington. Caption   Capitol Crossing closes a three-block-long gash in the city’s urban core created by the construction of I-395 in 1969. Built on a 7-acre highway-spanning platform, the development has re-opened a major east-west corridor, reconnected downtown pedestrian destinations, and helped to restore Pierre L’Enfant’s 1791 master pla... More

Project • By Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & PlannersOffices

NYPL, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

Ongoing renovations at this New York City and National Historic Landmark in midtown Manhattan will enable the library to provide a greater range of public facing-programs, exhibitions, and amenities, augment research facilities, and improve logistics and services for its many constituents as the building continues into its second century. Spaces formerly serving back-of-house uses are restored for public use—including the Center for Research in the Humanities, dedicated to research and scholarly work. Other proposed enhancements include the Marshall Rose Plaza, a new public entrance and terrace, new exhibition, retail, and café functions, as well as adding vertical circulation and upgrading building systems, all in deference to... More

Project • By HEDUniversities

U of M Aaron Friedman Marine Hydrodynamics Center

Built in 1904, the hydrodynamics lab at the University of Michigan has provided generations of students with unique tools and experiences. The laboratory’s “tow tank” was the first university-affiliated facility of its kind in the United States and is one of only three on university campuses in the United States. In its 112-year history, the lab has launched some of the most significant innovations in naval architecture, including the fuel-saving “bulbous bow” technology that’s used on large cargo vessels.Today, the hydrodynamics lab is still the largest facility of its kind — used both for teaching and for testing new commercial and military vessel designs. Now, thanks to a substantial renovation, it has been restored to showcase the premi... More
Digital Technology Client by CORE architecture + design
Digital Technology Client by CORE architecture + design
Digital Technology Client by CORE architecture + design
Digital Technology Client by CORE architecture + design
Digital Technology Client by CORE architecture + design

Project • By CORE architecture + designOffices

Digital Technology Client

CORE evaluated an existing one-story garage building in Adams Morgan to transform the space into a new design studio for a digital technology client.Located at 2414 18th Street NW, the garage building was originally constructed in 1906 for luxury car parking. CORE's design for this adaptive reuse project preserves the building façade and retains the existing window and entrance openings while replacing panes and doors. The new roof is designed to be similar in shape and appearance but showcase skylights, dormers, and a terrace with a glass guardrail. The program requires demolition of the complete building interior, excavation of the slab on grade structure for a full basement, and a second-story addition. CORE was working... More

Project • By Foster + PartnersLibraries


The opening of Apple Carnegie Library in the heart of Washington DC marks the revitalisation of an important monument in the city’s history. As the city’s first public library, and its first desegregated public building, the Carnegie Library of Washington DC played a central role in community life for over 70 years since its opening in 1903. After a period of neglect, Apple Carnegie Library continues the traditions of the building by creating a new platform for learning, performance and art for a new generation. Foster + Partners worked in close collaboration with the design team at Apple led by chief design officer, Sir Jonathan Ive to give this cultural icon a new lease of life. “I love the synergy between old and new, the juxtaposition o... More

Project • By McIntosh Poris AssociatesHotels

Detroit Foundation Hotel

Architect: McIntosh Poris AssociatesMichael Poris, AIA, PrincipalJohn Skok, LEED AP, Principal/Project ManagerKelly Raczkowski, DesignerSean Ryan, DesignerBlake Hill, DesignerInterior Designer: Simeone Deary Design GroupClient: Aparium Hotel Group and Arco DevelopmentSize: 95,000 square feet; 5 floors Program: Historic preservation and renovation of the former Detroit Fire Department Headquarters and adjacent Pontchartrain Wine Cellars building into a new 100-key boutique hotel featuring ground-level restaurant, private dining room, chef’s table, bar, lounge, retail, two business meeting rooms, and podcast studio. The hotel will also include a fitness center and a new modern building addition to the fifth floor to host... More

Project • By European HomeResidential Landscape

Renovating Early Modernism: An Interview with Arch

Walter Gropius gets all the acclaim in Massachusetts. Perhaps it’s because he taught at Harvard and his Gropius House in Lincoln, MA, looms large as a pillar of early modernist American architecture. However, he wasn’t alone, and he wasn’t the first to introduce the international modern style to the United States. Edwin B. Goodell Jr. (an MIT man just drive home the rivalry) was a member of a group of lesser-known architects that would later be called the “Invisible Modernists.” By the time Gropius and others came to the U.S. from Europe, Goodell had already designed and built a number of homes inspired by the Bauhaus aesthetic.One of Goodell’s early homes still sits on a rocky New England hillside in... More

Project • By European HomeResidential Landscape

Buggy Works with Lucius 140 Fireplace

There has been something of an industrial design Renaissance happening in the rust belt and across the nation. Recently, we discovered an old Buggy Works factory in Ohio that has been re-purposed and remodeled into modern condominiums. The residents here have embraced the historic nature of this old factory, while adding their own modern touches along the way.  Read the full story on the European Home blog. More

Project • By Banker WireOffices

Detroit News Parking Garage

In 1924, a parking garage at 801 West Lafayette Blvd. in Detroit, Michigan was built. It was one of two buildings built for the Detroit News, with the other being the home of the newspaper itself. When the building was purchased in 2014 by Bedrock Management, renovations began immediately, with the preservation of the historic design elements of the building being of utmost priority. In order to convert the parking garage from fully enclosed to sufficiently ventilated, a custom metal mesh solution was required. The project architects, Albert Kahn and Associates, found that Banker Wire’s wire mesh and custom manufacturing capabilities were just what was needed. The parking garage had originally featured wired glass windows; therefore,... More

Project • By NAT OFFICE - christian gasparini architectHousing


An ancient and listed building, heritage of the past, becomes a new home/office, intertwining a dialog between indoor and outdoor, place and space, voids and levels, walls and glasses. The roof with terrace, skylight and pv panels becomes a fifth "facade". Like in a Piranesi's work you can move in many directions through the space.The architectural recovery of the historical listed settlement Casa Gualerzi is based on the preservation of the typological and morphological building’s characters.The project works on existing indoor levels, reinterpreted contemporarily, whereas voids and full spaces of the historical facades and the typological elements such as the porch, don’t change but becomes key points to define free plans inside the volum... More