20th Annual Reconstruction Awards

August 11, 2010

Revitalizing a worn-down or underused building and restoring it to a useful purpose can be one of the most challenging yet rewarding assignments for a Building Team. Often such buildings hold historic significance for the owner or community in which they are located. Others may reflect the growth of a new or reawakened market segment. Some may simply be the result of the effects of a sluggish economy and an owner's decision to upgrade an existing facility instead of building new.

The 10 projects selected for recognition in Building Design & Construction's 20th Annual Renovation & Reconstruction Awards all are projects that have been enlivened, re-energized, or reincarnated into better and more productive uses.

Four industry judges and five BD&C editors evaluated this year's submissions based on the innovative and technical aspects of the their design, construction, and development.

The competition is not bound by project size or dollar amount. It is open to any member of the Building Team whose reconstruction, renovation, restoration, or adaptive reuse project adheres to the highest standards of quality. Conducted specifically for commercial, industrial, institutional, and multifamily residential buildings, projects this year had to have been completed or occupied by Jan. 1, 2002.

A mixture of all the reconstruction categories is found among this year's recipients. Grand awards for outstanding performance were bestowed on four projects, while five received Merit Awards, and one a special mention.

The four Grand Awards are:

  • Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado Springs, Colo. One of the nation's premier five-star hotels, which opened in 1918, underwent a delicate and vibrant restoration.

  • 600 West, Chicago. An adaptive reuse of the former Montgomery Wards Catalog Warehouse into a mixed-used residential complex was conducted along the banks of the Chicago River.

  • Bartlett Hall, Chicago. A 100-year-old neo-Gothic athletic center was sensitively adapted into a modern, market-style student dining hall.

  • Tweed Courthouse, New York City. The restoration and renovation of the infamous Lower Manhattan courthouse no longer serves the interests of Tammany Hall, but provides offices for the city's Department of Education.

Merit Award winners are:

  • Lofts at Old Albuquerque High School, Albuquerque, N.M. After years of failed attempts to convert the historic but outdated high school to other uses, the project at last was remade into 69 apartment units.

  • Philadelphia Academy of Music, Philadelphia. The city's grand opera house underwent a seven-year renovation and modernization process, restoring its former grandeur and enabling it to stage more complex performances.

  • National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, Tenn. An expansion of the museum involved the reconstruction and restoration of the boarding house from which was fired the shot that killed the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1968.

  • Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum, Independence, Mo. The seamless renovation of the 33rd president's elegant library addressed mechanical and electrical needs and enhanced circulation patterns.

  • Renaissance Grand, St. Louis. Need for convention center accommodations spurred the $265 million renovation and expansion of a once-vacant downtown hotel.

  • Amtrak Arcade, Kansas City, Mo. The presence of the passenger rail carrier was re-established in fine style at the city's classic 1914 Union Station, meriting a special mention.