Building Design+Construction’s 36th annual Reconstruction Awards honor 22 projects for standing out as the best in renovation, preservation, and adaptive reuse work.
The 2019 Reconstruction Awards jury awarded three Platinum awards, five Gold awards, four Silver awards, five Bronze awards, and five Honorable Mentions. The projects ranged in use from museums and opera houses to residential towers and hotels.
Each award-winning project is listed below. For more information about each winner, click on the project’s name or image.
The six-story MGM Springfield is the first full-service casino in Massachusetts. It occupies 14 acres over three city blocks and includes a 250-key hotel, a 125,000-sf casino, 46,000 sf of event space, and parking for 3,400 vehicles.
Wrigley Field, the second-oldest baseball stadium in the country, opened in 1914. Soon after the Ricketts family purchased the ballpark and its main tenant, the Chicago Cubs, in 2009, plans were set in motion to significantly upgrade the deteriorating structure, expand the facility, and enhance its amenities.
New York, N.Y.
Upon its completion, in 1913, the Woolworth Building was the tallest building in the world. Designed by Cass Gilbert (1859-1934), the 62-story, 792-foot Neo-Gothic skyscraper at 233 Broadway, New York, held that honor until 1930.
Christopher Aker, CEO of cloud-hosting company Linode, could have built a new headquarters anywhere he darned well pleased. Instead, he chose to put nearly $10 million into making Philadelphia’s 1906 Corn Exchange National Bank a high-powered magnet that would attract and retain high-tech talent for his fast-growing company.
College Station, Texas
In 2013, Texas A&M University College of Engineering launched its “25 by 25 initiative,” whose goal is to more than double its enrollment to 25,000 students by 2025 without incurring significant infrastructure costs. All this while simultaneously creating a 21st-century engineering education model focused on technology-enabled learning, hands-on projects, and collaborative and multidisciplinary learning spaces.
St. Louis, Mo.
Located at the base of the Gateway Arch, this underground museum explores seminal events in American history, such as the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition. The 46,000-sf addition and 100,000-sf renovation represented the facility’s first reconstruction work since the Museum of Westward Expansion opened in 1976.
After Cincinnati’s Union Terminal was completed, in 1933, it was deemed one of America’s most important Art Deco buildings. And certainly one of the more imposing. The rotunda alone spans 180 feet, making it the world’s second-largest half-dome (after the Sydney Opera House). Since the late 1990s, the terminal has been home to the Cincinnati Museum Center, a complex of six organizations that include a children’s museum and one devoted to natural history and science.
Little Rock, Ark.
The Paint Factory reimagines Little Rock’s oldest remaining industrial complex as a neighborhood called East Village, a mixed-use redevelopment of a factory that now includes a restaurant (Catshead Diner), apartments (12 Star Flats), a community space (The Mixing Room), and a new HQ for the project’s designer.
Springfield, Mass., the site of America’s first armory, served as the center of U.S. military munitions manufacturing and research until 1968, when the historic site and buildings were deeded to Springfield Technical Community College. One of those buildings is now the STCC’s Campus Center, which unites student services covering enrollment, academic advising, student life, and a learning commons in a 170-year-old, 764-foot-long structure.
Canada’s Parliamentary complex, in Ottawa, is undergoing a massive 10-year restoration that includes the Centre Block, which houses the government’s two parliamentary chambers. A project team led by Diamond Schmitt Architects and KWC Architects has converted the city’s 1912 train station into a stately interim home for one of those chambers, the Senate.
Originally completed in 1925, Chicago’s Union Station was designated a landmark in 2002 and listed by AIA Illinois as one of the 200 Illinois Great Places. The restoration of the station’s Great Hall sought to maximize the reuse of existing materials and infrastructure, preserve the historic integrity of prior generations, and significantly reduce its energy use.
Extreme sustainability was the chief goal for the reconstruction of Edward Durrell Stone’s Kellogg Center for Continuing Education at the University of Chicago.
The Metropolitan Opera House in Philadelphia has had a rough history. Built in 1908 as one of the largest venues of its kind, the building survived two fires and sat vacant from 1988 until 1995, having been saved from demolition in 1994.
This 16-month repositioning effort in Manhattan’s Midtown West neighborhood converted a nine-story, 1960s warehouse into an amenity-rich, Class A office tower near one of the city’s hottest districts: Hudson Yards. The project team, led by Cove Property Group, Kohn Pedersen Fox, and Pavarini McGovern, nearly tripled the height of the existing structure, adding 17 stories atop the podium building.
The Mount Vernon Company threw down the gauntlet to its project team, headed by architect Prellwitz Chilinski Associates and Kaplan Construction: Take this unimaginative Mid-Century Modern YWCA, whose rooms average 125 sf and whose plumbing consists of a small bathroom core in each of its two wings, and turn it into the hippest new boutique hotel in Boston’s South End. And do so while the living quarters were partly occupied.
St. Paul, Minn.
Abandoned and derelict for more than three decades, St. Paul, Minn.’s Woolworth’s Building has been revived as a modern office and co-working space in the city’s Lowertown district. The 428 is St. Paul’s first speculative office development in a half-decade, and is designed to attract tech and marketing companies with wellness-focused, amenity-rich spaces.
The modification of the Columbus Metropolitan Library Hilliard Branch from a senior living facility clubhouse focused on two key principles that informed the design process: first, take advantage of existing infrastructure as design opportunities; and, second, form space and experience through strategic interventions.
This high-profile public-private redevelopment adapted the building’s 129,000-sf Flight Center, which hadn’t been used since 2001, into a massive lobby bookended by two wings with 512 hotel rooms, a subterranean 46,000-sf conference center with a 7,000-sf banquet hall and 43 meeting rooms, six restaurants, eight bars (including one that was built inside of the fuselage of a 1958 Lockheed Constellation jet), an observation deck, retail shops, and a rooftop pool.
The nearly four-year restoration of the David H. Koch Hall of Fossils and installation of the new Deep Time exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History—from building design and construction, to specimen conservation and installation, to exhibit design and fabrication, and finally to commissioning—took place even as the 1910 Beaux Arts gallery remained open to eight million annual visitors.
Playa Vista, Calif.
Since 2016, Google has leased the seven-story, 750-foot-long hangar where, in 1943, Howard Hughes housed his all-wood-body Hercules IV airplane, the “Spruce Goose."
New Orleans, La.
Acampus that consisted of the shuttered St. Rose de Lima Church and two brick-and-wood school buildings ruined by Hurricane Katrina is now a venue that supports New Orleans’s cultural arts and education sector.
The goal of this project was to provide a gathering place for Boston University’s more than 300,000 graduates that would put them right at the heart of the Charles River campus.