Date of Award

Fall 1995

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Architecture - (M.Arch.)

Department

School of Architecture

First Advisor

Mark A. Hewitt

Second Advisor

Peter C. Papademetriou

Third Advisor

Troy West

Abstract

This thesis is a study of the viability of adaptive reuse principles through a comparison between the rehabilitation of the industrial city of Lowell, Massachusetts and the former American Hard Rubber Company building in Butler, New Jersey. Historical, social, and architectural profiles of both sites were made to support my feasibility study and designs for the complex at Butler. The site at Lowell was analyzed as a successful model of an adaptive reuse project to measure the proposals for Butler.

Butler's site has been reused, but this study found it to be largely deficient in its adherence to accepted adaptive reuse principles. Moreover, my feasibility study called into question the long-range vitality of Butler's complex, citing that the composition of occupants is not diverse enough to sustain considerable shifts in the economy. In contrast to Lowell's model, in which the public and private sectors at large embraced the rehabilitation efforts, Butler adopted a one dimensional strategy toward reuse and failed to consider its own historical significance. My master plan was designed to afford Butler a better long-range economic composition, and thereby demonstrate the viability and social stability of adaptive reuse principles.

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