Our firm got its start doing Historic Rehabilitation and adaptive reuse in the Portland and Brunswick, Maine region. Our focus on historic rehab projects was, and is, to respect the design of these historic structures, the suitability of the design for the location, and the durability of these surviving buildings, while also assuring that the renovation meets the needs of modern businesses. The special challenge with these kinds of buildings is to balance the need for efficient, modern, affordable office/retail space while maintaining the historic fabric of the original structure.
The first, 5 Milk Street, was originally a 19th century brick shoe mill. In 1982, it was being used as a warehouse. Situated near the waterfront and near a reviving business and shopping area, the location was promising.
The second, 4 Milk Street, was a modest 3 story wood timber building formerly used as a confectionary factory. The building features tin clapboard siding, required of all wood construction in downtown Portland after the Great Fire of 1866.
We completed several other historic rehabilitations on Free Street in Portland in 1985-1988. These projects renovated attractive brick and granite façade buildings built in the 19th and 20th centuries. We were able to take advantage of the lesser tax credits available for buildings not deemed eligible for historic designation by the Maine Historic Commission. Our strategy during the planning and development included the recognition that partial demolition for new construction could be desirable for these center-city sites some time in the future.