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Cambridge Historical Commission Honors Two Bruner/Cott Projects

Award Announcements / October 21, 2020 by Bruner/Cott

Two Bruner/Cott projects have received Preservation Awards from the Cambridge Historical Commission – Harvard Hall and 120 Brookline Street!

The Cambridge Preservation Awards Program, inaugurated by the Historical Commission in 1997, celebrates outstanding projects and notable individuals who conserve and protect the city’s architecture and history. Awards are given each May for projects completed within the previous calendar year, as May is National Preservation Month. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 awards ceremony was postponed until October and held virtually. Both Harvard Hall and 120 Brookline Street were honored, and 120 Brookline Street won the Popular Vote for the evening.

Harvard Hall is a brick, granite, and brownstone classroom building situated at the edge of Harvard Yard and Harvard Square, designed in the High Georgian style by Governor Francis Bernard and built by Thomas Dawes between 1764-1766. Major preservation accomplishments of the exterior restoration project include reconstituting deteriorated brownstone profiles with new stone, reuse of original brownstone harvested from the building, reconstruction of the cupola’s belfry and execution of a thorough paint analysis and historic paint color selection. The building was returned to the 1870 time period with new stone at the addition and its period paint color reinstated at window trim, cornice trim and cupola cladding. The comprehensive, highly detailed restoration of Harvard Hall’s exterior contributes to Cambridge’s historic character by re-establishing the coherence of its masonry surfaces and profiles and color scheme from 1870 and masonry from 1766 as distinct from earlier and later buildings within Harvard Yard.

The project at 120 Brookline Street is a renovation of a 1920s-era factory building and an adjacent filling station and ice house that was last used as studio space for artists and musicians. The collection of buildings at the site had undergone many ad hoc and incremental transformations over their lifetimes, serving a range of light industrial, manufacturing, retail, and cultural occupancies. The renovation was designed with the goal of uniting the disparate built elements on the site, improving the experience of the building from the surrounding streets and parks, and updating the building to meet current city requirements for fire safety, accessibility, and resilience. The building was landmarked by the Cambridge Historical Commission during the course of the renovation, recognizing the cultural contributions to Cambridge history that were produced there over the decades.

Thank you to Charles Sullivan and the Cambridge Historical Commission for recognizing these transformative preservation projects!

 

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