AS220 at the Dreyfus, Adaptive Reuse/Neighborhood Revitalization/Institutional Restoration Award, 121 Washington Avenue, Downtown
Originally constructed as a small wooden structure in the late 19th century, the Dreyfus was expanded into a beautiful hotel in 1917. Used throughout the 20th century as a hotel and then dormitory for Johnson and Wales, the Dreyfus had fallen into disrepair, with severe structural problems on both the interior and exterior. Fortunately the non-profit arts group AS220 was able to take advantage of the RI Historic Tax Credit. The AS220 Development Team, lead by Lucie Searle, has redeveloped the building into a stunning live/work space for artists, designed by Virginia Branch of Durkee Brown Vivieros & Werenfels Architects and constructed by Bill Tracey of TRAC Builders. The project included a restoration of the building’s fenestration, re-working of the structural components of the building’s front, and replacing elements of the structure destroyed by years of water damage. The project was extensive and employed the help of many people, including preservation assistance from Clark Schoettle of the Providence Revolving Fund; financial assistance from Al Shehadi of the National Trust Community Investment Fund, Thomas Deller of the Providence Economic Development Partnership, Dorene Conlon of Bank of America, Peter Walsh of Bank RI, Carol Ventura of RI Housing, Ray Neirinckx of RI Housing Resources Commission, Martin Corona of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, and Barbara Sokoloff of Barbara Sokoloff Associates; help during construction from Steve Wilkinson of Wilkinson Associates, John Whatne and Beth Nathan of Structures North, and Vincent Jacques and Brian Piccolo of Jacques Whitford; and legal assistance from Richard Welch of Moses Afonso Jackvony. AS220 at the Dreyfus now stands as an important architectural and cultural addition to the urban fabric of downtown Providence.