Alice Building, Adaptive Reuse Award, 236 Westminster Street
The rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the Alice Building in downtown Providence is part of an ongoing effort by Cornish Associates to bring residential use back to our downcity. Prominently located at the intersection of Westminster and Union streets, the Alice Building was constructed in 1898 by Woonsocket Rubber Company founder Joseph Banigan. Named after Banigan’s daughter, Alice, the building has been rehabilitated for use as residential and retail space, with 38 loft-style apartments on the upper floors and retail space located at street level. The design firm of Durkee, Brown, Viveiros and Werenfels Architects was charged with the task of carving apartment units out of this historic, seven-story department store, which required an overhaul of its electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems and installation of new elevators and stairways. The residential units replace small shops with open floor plans, integrating historic interior elements. The project has had a positive impact on downtown and has led the way for further investment in the reuse of former commercial buildings for residential use.