West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation & Durkee, Brown, Viveiros & Werenfels Architects, Rehabilitation & Neighborhood Revitalization Award
Rehabilitation & Neighborhood Revitalization Award for Westfield Lofts and Commons, 230 Dexter Street
The Charles W. Perkins Building is identified by a date stone as having been constructed in 1892, the earliest development within the Rau Fastener Complex. Prior to being purchased by Rau Fastener in 1929, the building housed Providence Lithograph. After their arrival, Rau Fastener constructed a 30,000 square foot addition to the site in its role as the leading distributor of metal snap fasteners in the nation.
Led by the West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation, rehabilitation of the Rau Fastener Complex has provided mixed-income rental housing, commercial office space and new market-rate and affordable housing.
The first phase involved the conversion of a late nineteenth/early twentieth-century masonry mill complex into 22 affordable rental apartments and 47 market-rate loft apartments. These existing buildings were completely rehabilitated, including masonry restoration, new windows and new building systems.
The second phase, Westfield Commons, included the transformation of the historic Charles W. Perkins Building, a rare surviving wood framed mill building, into a mixed-use complex with 16 market rate and affordable living units on the first and second floors as well as 5,000 square feet of commercial office space - including a lobby/reception area, three private offices and a spacious conference room - on the first floor. The entire south facing portion of the roof is covered with solar panels that are expected to not only provide the building with electricity, but also send unused energy back to the grid.
The Westside is Providence's largest neighborhood and is located in the southwestern quadrant of the city. This project has greatly contributed to the revitalization of the area.