HMFH Presents at Massachusetts Historic Preservation Conference

With extensive knowledge and experience with sustainable design and renovations, HMFHers Gary Brock and Peter Rust shared a designer’s perspective on the economic, environmental and social benefits of historic preservation and how to make adaptive reuse a feasible option for design projects.

The Massachusetts Historic Preservation Conference is a biennial, statewide event where professionals and local advocates interested in preservation share preservation successes, challenges and lessons learned. Alongside Cambridge Historical Commission Executive Director Charles Sullivan, HMFH presented a case study of the recently completed Renae’s Place, providing valuable insight into the process of restoring a historic structure while making it more resilient and energy efficient for optimal performance and community benefit.

A small project with a large impact, Renae’s Place was originally an 1885 residence in Cambridge, Massachusetts that had fallen into disrepair through decades of commercial use. The renovation and addition transformed the property from its underutilized state into 10 units of emergency housing, while successfully achieving seemingly disparate goals: restoring the building’s original historic character, designing for climate resiliency, and creating a safe environment for vulnerable populations.

Pictured below (left) is HMFH’s renovation of Renae’s Place, as well as the building pre-renovation (bottom right) and a historic image of the building from Massachusetts Avenue (top right).