105 North Main Street, Barre, Vermont

Malone Properties again turned to us to restore another historic building in central Vermont. This time it was an historic building in the heart of Barre’s downtown district that originally accommodated retail stores on the ground floor, offices on the second floor and a two story high dance hall on the third floor.

We restored and updated the original atrium but with a modern touch to meet current stairway enclosure code requirements. The lower two floors have upgraded retail space and office space. On the third floor, we removed a dropped ceiling that used to cut the 10’ tall windows in half when it was installed about 20 years ago, and installed seven new apartments with lofts overlooking the tall living spaces below that avoided blocking of the top of the very tall windows of the original dance hall.

All of the new apartments and offices enjoy abundant light from the new glass lit atrium seen in the renderings below and through new 10’ tall windows to match the original design in an energy efficient manner with new Marvin Elevate windows. Jay also prepared the historic preservation tax credit application generating additional funding.

New accessible entrance leads to a new elevator, accessible restrooms and Children's Library  

     Rebuilt Stairway in new atrium from second floor           looking up.

Third floor common area in new atrium. 

      Historic ceiling to be restored at main Lobby

Section through atrium 

      Third floor apartments floor plan of 7 apartments,           some with lofts

495 Colchester Avenue, Burlington, Vermont

After a flood in 1927 this building was buried up to the second floor in order to accommodate a higher bridge in 1928 over the Winooski River next to it In this restoration for Brisson Restoration. We lifted the building 9 feet in order to restore its original proportions. We left the basement and its foundation in place, but inserted a new wood floor at the new ground level. This raised the two upper floors of apartments to be fully above grade on the first floor and a second floor above that with two apartments on each floor. The newly inserted floor is handicapped accessible from the new ground level and opens into a two level Café that is spread between the historic stone basement and the newly inserted ground floor. The project won the historic preservation tax credits we applied for on behalf of Randy Brisson.  The Certified Rehabilitation also won an award from Preservation Burlington. 

A drawing showing before and after lifting. 

Detail of inserted wood floor beams. These solid wood beams are visible from the original basement left in place. A wood floor was placed on top of these beams.

The project includes real wood and real plaster. Randy Brisson does not like Sheetrock or plywood while meeting current energy efficiency standards.

View from Colchester Ave. after completion. 

Blanchard Block, Barre, Vermont

The new owners of the Blanchard Block asked me to help them renovate what they assumed would be four floors of Class A office space using Historic Preservation Tax Credits for a Certified Rehabilitation they asked if I could get for them. They liked my earlier work on the adjacent Barre Opera House renovation and new lobby.   

When I looked at it, I realized that be removing part of the first floor on the parking lot side we could get a new ADA accessible entrance at grade level on the parking lot side that would allow visitors to step into a  very tall lobby with easy access down a new ramp tucked behind a former granite foundation in order to reach a new elevator -- or they could go up just ten steps to reach the first floor which was at the same level as North Main Street. Glass walls between the lobby and both the basement and the first floor would flood both areas with natural daylight. By adding sprinklers to both sides of the glass, we could get the required fire ratings. 

The roof is supported with massive 9' tall trusses spanning the full width of the building, spaced 12' apart. By adding a few windows, we could also get a whole floor of offices in what they assumed would be an unusable attic. 

Within a few minutes of discussion and sketches I showed them, we were able to design the renovation to have 50% more space than they thought they could get. Having six leasable floors instead of four leasable floors increased leasable area by 50% from what they thought they had purchased.

New Main Entrance lobby from Parking Lot.

Entrance of Blanchard Block on left and Barre Opera House on right.

Owner John & Pam Benoit and Robin & Mark Nicholson in one of several restored office suites.

One of the restored original stairways.