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Ornate window transom, photo by Pete Rienhard

AS220, Adaptive Reuse Award, Mercantile Block, 125 Washington Street

When the circa 1901 Mercantile Building was purchased by AS220, it was vacant and badly deteriorated. This building has been transformed into a vibrant arts complex through the use of a variety of funding sources—including historic tax credits. AS220 assembled approximately $13 million to complete this 50,000sf building, which contains: 22 live studios for artists on the top floors; 11 spaces on the second floor that serve as office space for non profits and artists work studios; 3 AS220 program spaces: Print Shop, Labs, Digital Photo; and, on the first floor, one-of-a-kind local retail, including long time tenants Clark the Locksmith and The Stable (formerly Wheels). As a part of the project, AS220 has also transformed Martha Street, once an unsavory alley, into a vibrant pedestrian way