Travelers and locals alike flock to historic market buildings around the world. In the United States, among the best known are Union Market in Washington, DC (1931), Pike’s Place in Seattle (1901), Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia (1893), and the City Market in Charleston (1804). Today, developers take inspiration from the success of these purpose-built marketplaces to create unique food experiences in the form of trendy food halls, often reusing historic buildings with an open interior volume as their canvas.
The TWA Flight Center at JFK International Airport in New York welcomed travelers for four decades, but by 2001 the terminal had outgrown its usefulness and its future was thrown into uncertainty. The recent rehabilitation effort led by MCR/MORSE Development brought the fantasy and romance of air travel back to life in the form of the TWA Hotel.
This St. Paddy’s week, America’s urban areas are crawling with green-clad revelers drinking green-colored beverages. No doubt that many of these merry-makers will be patronizing pubs in historic buildings and main streets that have benefited from historic preservation efforts. They may not be painted green for the occasion (although there may be a few), but these buildings are often considered ‘the greenest buildings,’ a term coined by American architect and sustainability expert Carl Elefante (FAIA, LEED AP) when he declared, “The greenest building is the one that is already built.”
Since industrialization, urban centers across the country have been building up. Early multi-story masonry buildings gave way to glass and steel skyscrapers to create the skylines that have become iconic for many cities. In the 1920s and 1930s, technology and design collided to create the International Style of building that became the prevalent blueprint for modern construction for many decades.
But what is to be done about the millions of square feet that have been left vacant and obsolete when businesses abandon these towers for new facilities or more convenient locations?
A few weeks ago, we joined over 200 professionals and academics in the fields of city planning, architecture and historic preservation for a discussion about The Dynamic City: Futures for the Past.
What better day is there to talk about going green in South Boston than St. Patrick’s Day?
Many of the cities that are focusing on increased density are those that have historic downtown cores or neighborhoods.
Just as the valiant men and women who are honored this week for Veteran’s Day, there are many retired military properties that have been honored through preservation and reuse. MHA has had the privilege of being consultants on a few.
To some people, abandoned mills and other abandoned buildings can be a bit spooky. But to some real estate developers they can mean opportunity, particularly in states with tax incentive programs.