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Westminster Street, circa 1950

Pell Chafee Performance Center, Adaptive Reuse Award, 87 Empire Street

The adaptive reuse of the former Providence Institution for Savings Building not only preserves an important piece of the city’s urban fabric, but furthers revitalization efforts in Providence’s Downtown. Constructed in 1929, this Classical Revival-style building is notable for its symmetrical façade with stylized triumphal-arch motif. The creative adaptation of this former financial building into a flexible theater facility for Trinity Repertory Company has retained the building’s historical integrity while adding a use that complements activities ongoing in the downtown area.

The project has been done with a careful and light touch and serves as a model for other adaptive reuse projects. Major components of the project include the design of a new main entrance vestibule with handicap accessibility, flexible seating and stage design, creation of classroom space, removal of the existing drop ceiling, and mechanical upgrades. The positive impact the project has had on the building and the community is owed to the efforts of the project team of Durkee, Brown Viveiros & Werenfels Architects, Trinity Repertory Company, Case Construction, Odeh Engineers, Wilkinson Associates, and Johnson & Stover.