BUILDING STUDIO PROJECT AWARDED NEW HAVEN PRESERVATION TRUST AWARD
We are proud to announce that our recent project was awarded the 2020 Landmark Award by the New Haven Preservation Trust. The Washington Building, originally built in 1899 and finished in 1900 as a beer garden, is a four-story brick and terra cotta building at the landmark corner of Church and Crown Streets in the heart of Downtown New Haven. Most recently the building was a dance club with artists’ studios above.
Converting the building into a market-rate rental building, we worked closely with Tom Picagli at our longtime clients The Hurley Group, whose office building across the street we renovated in the early 2000’s. The renovation, which benefitted from federal and Connecticut state tax credits, was a careful restoration of this remarkable building, retaining historic fabric both inside and out.
The exterior was basically intact, so the restoration there was limited. Work there included new windows, restoring brick masonry, and repainting the metal cornice. The biggest restoration project on the exterior was the ground floor, where storefronts had been heavily modified. We exposed and restored Ionic stone columns and replaced non-historic storefronts with ones more sympathetic to the building.
Under layers of construction and paint, the interiors concealed a wealth of historical craftsmanship that we could expose and embrace. Marble mosaic floors throughout were retained, even where incomplete; restoration specialists matched and infilled where possible. Door and window casings were retained and replicated. A glorious central stair was restored and exposed. In the cellar, the original beer garden’s three magical vaulted Victorian skylights, featuring embossed purple leaded glass tesserae, were lovingly stripped of tar and paint, repaired and restored, now gracing the building’s amenity spaces.
The eighteen apartments are lofty and spacious, with original columns and high beamed ceilings contrasting with contemporary fittings. The lobby too combines old and new, with a modern elevator contrasting with the elaborate cast-iron stair and plaster coffered ceiling and trim.