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The distinctive gilded pyramidal roof of the Thurgood Marshall US Courthouse shines with new luster these days. Following a comprehensive interior and exterior renovation and restoration, the architectural landmark and preeminent symbol of the Federal Government (site of the famous Alger Hiss and Rosenberg trials) has been revitalized for life in the 21st century and beyond.

The Following Function series explores projects in Europe and the US that pioneer the creative reuse of redundant industrial sites, and considers the implications for heritage conservation and post-industrial communities.

“That kind of grandeur does not happen anymore, so the fact that [New York City Hall] came back to this original form is remarkable. Considerable talent is needed as an architect and preservationist to make it look like nothing has been done to it.”—Jury

As a follow up to her Cuba trip to present at the VIII Latin American Colloquium on the Industrial Heritage, architect Kett Murphy published the following conference report in The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage (TICCIH) quarterly bulletin.

From October 17-20, nearly 40,000 people from 193 different countries gathered in Quito Ecuador at the Habitat III conference to discuss implementation of the New Urban Agenda (NUA).

Mayor Muriel Bowser and Planet Word Museum Founder Ann Friedman presided over the ceremonial groundbreaking for the renovation and restoration of the historic Franklin School, the future home of Planet Word. Beyer Blinder Belle is pleased to be overseeing the preservation and rehabilitation of the school and collaborating with Local Projects, which is designing Planet Word’s nine immersive learning galleries.

By adding our voice to the US Architects Declare initiative, BBB continues the firm’s commitment to sustainability and advocacy for healthy living environments, positive social impact, and a low-carbon future.

“Ultimately, the notion that an excess of security could actually make us less safe, however seemingly counterintuitive, affords us the possibility to consider how to design not just for physical security, but also for physical insecurity, by adopting an approach that is less motivated by deterrence and exclusion, and refocused on equity, diversity, and inclusion.”

Jill Cavanaugh, AIA, AICP, Partner

Washington, DC’s Pennsylvania Avenue has offered the public a place “to protest, cheer, mourn, or simply gather,” with varying levels of success, over its extensive history.

Older building materials and practices allow some historic buildings to achieve unexpected energy efficiency. Often more significant, however, is the embodied energy derived from an existing building’s construction and maintenance.

The Building Innovation Hub recently published the following piece, by DC Historic Preservation Review Board Member Andrew Aurbach and BBB's Gretchen Pfaehler, about the aligned goals of sustainability and preservation in Washington DC and beyond.

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Persons(2)
Rence Gill joined BBB’s Washington DC office in 2007. He has experience working on commercial, institutional, government, multi-family residential, and religious projects.
Jennie Gwin is a Principal and Project Manager in BBB's Washington DC office. She has over 15 years of experience in historic preservation and adaptive re-use, with particular expertise in federal government and historic rehabilitation tax credit projects.