Reconstruction Awards: The Cigar Factory

The Cigar Factory was originally a cotton mill but became the home of the American Cigar Company in 1912. 

November 16, 2016 |

The Cigar Factory is celebrating its third life in its 135-year history, this time as a Class A office building anchoring Charleston’s emerging NoMo (North Morrison Boulevard) technology corridor. Robert Oswald / Oswald Design & Creative.

The Cigar Factory, built in 1881, occupies an entire block in Charleston, S.C. It was originally a cotton mill but became the home of the American Cigar Company in 1912. 

Federal Capital Partners took ownership of the 230,000-sf structure in 2014. Because the building is on the National Register of Historic Places and the developer wanted to use historic tax credits, the project had to pass muster with the State Historic Preservation Office, the National Park Service, and Charleston’s Board of Architectural Review.

The Building Team, led by design firm Stevens & Wilkinson and contractor Trident Construction, custom-milled timbers to match existing members, replicated historic cast-iron pattress plates, and custom-fabricated rafter tails and exterior fascia and trim to match original components. Trident also completed $750,000 of unanticipated carpentry work for timber remediation.

The team’s most remarkable effort: replacing 365 arched, 10-foot-high windows with hurricane-resistant glazing, custom manufactured by Graham Architectural Products to meet the owner’s aesthetic objectives. This effort alone represented 20% of the project budget.




Silver Award Winner | Charleston, S.C.

Building Team: Stevens & Wilkinson (submitting firm, architect, MEP) and Trident Construction (submitting firm, GC); Federal Capital Partners (developer); David Thompson Architect (interior architect); 4SE Inc. (SE); and Trinity Partners (CM).

Details: 230,000 sf. Construction cost: $35 million. Construction time: May 2014 to April 2015. Delivery method: Negotiated GC.

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