Principal DBVW Architects Providence, Rhode Island
With the ever-increasing push for more walkable and welcoming downtowns, many local municipalities find themselves faced with a dilemma: How to return town functions to the heart of the community and reinvigorate a deteriorating historic downtown?
This session considers two municipalities in need of a new Town Hall, both with a significant historic resource in the center of its downtown area. In Plymouth, MA the historic building had been abandoned and in Taunton, MA there had been a devastating fire. In both cases, they faced a decision: construct a new town hall away from downtown or invest in the town’s history and restore a municipal facility in their historic district. In the end, the design team provided them with both.
Martha Werenfels will discuss her experience restoring the 1820 courthouse in Plymouth and the 1898 granite building in Taunton while seamlessly incorporating new large additions for both.
Evaluate the pros and cons of locating municipal facilities in historic downtowns.
Navigate the challenges involved with designing large new additions that are compatible with and complementary to the historic buildings to which they are attached.
Assess the importance of downtown historic architecture to a community.
Design new amenities for municipal employees and communities, while preserving the architectural character of a building.