The Boston Preservation Alliance has recently recognized Marc Truant & Associates, Historic Boston, Inc. and CUBE design + research with a 2013 Preservation Awards for their work in helping to preserve Boston’s historic character. The project team inventively transformed The Hayden Building, the only remaining commercial property in Boston designed by H.H. Richardson, into a vital, mixed-use building while revealing and highlighting the architectural and social history of this landmark building.
The Hayden Building was designed as a five-story commercial building by famed architect Henry Hobson Richardson and built in 1875 by Norcross Brothers, general contractors. Located in the Chinatown neighborhood of Boston, this landmark embodies the vision of its present owner, Historic Boston Inc. (HBI). HBI worked closely with CUBE design + research (architects) and Marc Truant & Associates (construction managers) to fully restore and transform the vacant structure into a mixed use building that is modern in its design while remaining true to Richardson’s aesthetics. The Hayden Building is now home to four contemporary apartments and a retail space on the first floor.
The Hayden Building was originally occupied by manufacturers and services such as dental parlors. In the 1970s, the first of several adult entertainment businesses moved into the area and the building’s tenants included a peep-show house during Boston’s “Combat Zone” era. After a fire in 1985, it was threatened several times with HBI purchased the building in 1993 saving it from demolition, stabilizing the structure which had been compromised by fire, and restoring its window openings and masonry exterior. Two decades later, HBI selected CUBE and Marc Truant & Associates (MTA) to advance the project to another level.
At the ribbon cutting on June 4 2013, Mayor Thomas M. Menino said, “After sitting empty for 30 years this building is now preserved and reactivated. Historic preservation does not inhibit economic development, it ignites it.”
To achieve CUBE’s design intent MTA carefully coordinated the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protections systems with stringent acoustical performance considerations and zero-tolerance architectural detailing including an extensive amount of cabinetry and woodwork. On the exterior of the building, historic masonry details were painstakingly preserved and new elements, such as the entrance to the residential units, were designed to complement the original architecture.
The Hayden Building achieved LEED® Platinum certification, exceeding the project team’s preliminary goal of LEED® Silver. Due to the building’s landmark status, the façade could not be altered in any way, and all of the existing windows were to be preserved; however, the building still had to pass strict air quality and environmental testing necessary to meet LEED® Platinum certification. A state-of-the-art mechanical system along with the installation of interior storm windows and detailed, air-barrier workmanship facilitated this accomplishment.All photos © John Horner Photography