Seven New Housing Communities in Historic Landmarks Designed by The Architectural Team Receive 2012 Tsongas Awards from Preservation Massachusetts

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Exemplifying the national trend of historic adaptive reuse, seven new projects by The Architectural Team are recipients of the prestigious Tsongas Award – helping to preserve Massachusetts’ architectural history while also providing affordable, quality housing to families and seniors.

Canal Lofts, Interior

The Canal Lofts, designed by Boston's The Architectural Team - one of the projects earning the firm a Tsongas Award for Historic Preservation.

It is important to preserve and honor the rich histories of these buildings, by ensuring that they are put to full use.

In a major sweep of a high-profile awards program, the architecture and master planning firm The Architectural Team, Inc., (TAT) has announced today that seven of its recently completed historic adaptive-reuse housing projects have received citations from the organization Preservation Massachusetts as part of its prestigious 2012 Paul E. Tsongas Awards.

The award-winning, historic adaptive-reuse projects converted into new housing were designed by The Architectural Team in locations around the state. They include Canal Lofts in Worcester, Mass., a mixed-income, multifamily housing community; Curtain Lofts in Fall River, Mass., an affordable active-adults housing community for residents aged 55 and over, developed by Boston-based WinnDevelopment; and Linwood Mill in Northbridge, Mass., also an affordable active-adults housing community for residents aged 55-plus, developed by Boston-based EA Fish Development.

Also cited for their successful adaptation of historic landmarks into housing communities were City View Commons I Apartments in Springfield, Mass., an affordable and modernist rehabilitation of 20th century historic buildings by the First Resource Companies; The Hayes at Railroad Square in Haverhill, Mass., a mixed-income multifamily transit-oriented development (TOD); Union Street Lofts in New Bedford, Mass., an urban style apartment community comprised of five individual historic buildings developed by HallKeen and WHALE; and Nashoba Park Assisted Living in Ayer, MA developed by the Volunteers of America.

The Tsongas Awards were presented at the Preservation Massachusetts annual awards dinner last week at the Fairmont Copley Hotel in Boston. According to the group Preservation Massachusetts, “This year’s awards celebrate the Massachusetts Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit (MHRTC) and the power preservation has in our communities. As an economic engine, the MHRTC has allowed projects like these to revitalize communities, spur investment, create jobs and enhance our collective quality of life.”

Believing in Preservation

Sought-out for expertise in converting some of the most complex historic mills, hospitals, schools and factories in the country into new uses, The Architectural Team has completed more than 150 historic preservation, restoration and adaptive-reuse projects since its founding in 1971. Today these honors for seven new projects add to the firm’s portfolio of award-winning designs. The team has been featured recently on the television show “Chronicle” on Boston's ABC affiliate channel 5 ( The episode is called "Recycled Boston," and it features several of the firm's projects.

“We are honored to be recognized by Preservation Massachusetts for our work at Canal Lofts and Curtain Lofts,” said Gilbert Winn, Managing Principal of WinnCompanies. “It is important to preserve and honor the rich histories of these two buildings by rescuing them from their dormant and underutilized states, and ensuring that they are put to full use, housing a range of populations and adding to the aesthetic landscape of their communities in Worcester and Fall River.”

Canal Lofts, formerly the Hill Envelope/Chevalier Furniture building, is one of Worcester’s most notable or architecturally significant historic buildings. Today, the former mill has been transformed into a LEED Silver-certified, mixed-income multifamily housing community. The property offers 64 loft-style units—complete with the architectural detailing characteristic of these building types, such as expansive windows, exposed brick and vaulted wood-beamed ceilings and ample resident amenities.

Located in Fall River’s historic district, Curtain Lofts, formerly the Wampanoag Mill – an iconic granite mill—has been artfully converted into a LEED-certifiable contemporary apartment community for active adults ages 55 and over. Amenities for residents include community green space, a cardio and fitness center, a community clubroom with catering kitchen, a resident lounge, as well as sun deck and relaxation garden with gazebo.

Slated to open in June, Linwood Mill will soon become home to active adults ages 55 and over. Situated in a serene setting adjacent to the Mumford River and within close proximity to the downtown area, Linwood Mill will provide a mix of 75 affordable studios, one- and two-bedroom units. The historic adaptation also includes commercial/retail space on the ground level. The expert renovation by The Architectural Team involved restoring the building’s clock tower and repairing the brick masonry to ensure that the historic structure’s distinctive architectural history is preserved. The design of Linwood, as in all of the firms’ historic adaptive-reuse projects, strives to retain many of the building’s historically authentic features such as exposed beams and columns, oversized windows—offering many units with scenic views of the river—and other detailing throughout.

The Hayes at Railroad Square in Haverhill, Mass., located adjacent to the former Washington Street Shoe District in downtown Haverhill, is a historic adaptive reuse of a former shoe packing factory into a mixed-use, multifamily transit-oriented development (TOD). It was also the first 40R development to be permitted in Massachusetts, and serves as an extension of the existing historic industrial neighborhood. The development offers a mix of 57 one- and two-bedroom apartments, with 33% dedicated as affordable units, as well as 5,000 square feet of commercial space. The units are designed to have a loft-style feel, boasting original features such as exposed wood beam ceilings and decking. The Hayes also offers residents amenities including a community room and cafe, an indoor children’s play area, laundry room, and a fitness center. It was also the recipient of the 2011 Jack Kemp Workforce Housing Models of Excellence from the Urban Land Institute and the 2011 Project of the Year for Adaptive Reuse from Multifamily Executive Magazine.

An affordable and modernist rehabilitation of a historic building, City View Commons I, in Springfield, Mass., is a 152-unit affordable multifamily development that won a Springfield Preservation Trust Award in June 2011 for the restoration of the 20th-century apartment blocks. The Architectural Team also worked on City View Commons II, an adjacent, 144-unit affordable housing property. The developer for City View Commons properties I and II is First Resource Development Company.

Union Street Lofts located in downtown New Bedford, Mass., is comprised of five individual turn-of-the-century buildings located in the city’s historic district. The firm converted these structures into 35 new urban style loft apartments which are designed to provide the maximum amount of natural light given its high ceilings and open floor plans.

And rounding out the list is Nashoba Park Assisted Living in Ayer, Mass., formerly the Ayer Community Hospital built in 1928, which now serves as a 72 unit assisted living community. The building received historic designation from the Massachusetts Historic Commission in 2004 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“The Architectural Team has unique expertise in historic preservation and adaptive reuse. As with all mill projects where EA Fish Development has partnered with TAT, the completed Linwood Mill project strikes the perfect balance between historic character, livability and high-design. We look forward to working with TAT on many future projects,” says Matt Mittelstadt, Managing Director, EA Fish Development.

Co-founder and managing principal, Robert Verrier, FAIA, NCARB and architect of record for Canal Lofts, City View Commons I, Curtain Lofts, and Union Street Lofts, was recently elevated to the 2012 American Institute of Architects’ College of Fellows in recognition of his preservation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings throughout his career. This honor of the Fellow designation comes on the heels of the firm’s 41-year anniversary.

Principal Michael Binette, AIA, NCARB, was architect of record for Linwood Mill and The Hayes at Railroad Square. Principal Michael Liu, AIA, NCARB, was architect of record for Nashoba Park Assisted Living.

41 Years of Transforming Historic Structures

“We believe in finding new life for these older structures - the abandoned industrial and long-shuttered public buildings that line our rivers, harbors, canals and city streets and town centers,” says Verrier. “The unique opportunity is to develop these resources and spur economic vitality by creating new value and at the same time continue the legacy of these historically authentic structures that make an indelible mark on the landscape and help strengthen the fabric of our national identity. Preserving and converting these historic structures is not without its share of unique design challenges and financial hurdles – invention, creativity, experimental refinement and strong client collaborations are key ingredients for a project’s success. Our aim is to achieve the client's vision of providing quality, affordable housing for hundreds of residents – and at the same time, preserve the architectural fabric that connects us to our common past.”

Other recent awards earned by The Architectural Team included the final phase of the Baker Chocolate Factory complex in Dorchester, Mass.—the Watermill Lofts at Lower Mill—which received the 2011 Preservation Award from Boston Preservation Alliance. The Architectural Team has also designed Atlas Lofts in Chelsea, Mass., which received the 2011 Preservation Award from Massachusetts Historical Commission, as well as Bourne Mill Apartments, Tiverton, R.I., which received the 2010 J. Timothy Anderson Award for the National Historic & Rehabilitation Association.

Valerie Capone, Marketing Communications + PR Manager
C 781.720.9906 T 617.889.4402 E vcapone(at)architecturalteam(dot)com

About The Architectural Team, Inc.
Founded in 1971, The Architectural Team, Inc., is a 60-person master planning and architectural firm that has grown through its design excellence and commitment to responsive and collaborative client relationships. The firm has developed a portfolio of distinctive design solutions for a broad range of building types and programs, and has earned more than 80 awards for design excellence. These include the new construction of large urban mixed-use developments, multifamily residential, commercial, hospitality, healthcare, recreational, and academic facilities, as well as a national reputation in the area of historic preservation and adaptive reuse. The firm is located in the restored 1840s-era Commandant’s House in Chelsea, Mass. Visit the firm’s website at

To view a representative sampling of the firm’s projects chronicling the past 41 years, please visit their website at, and click on the “View Digital Portfolio” icon.

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