Massachusetts Historical Commission - 2013 Preservation Award Winners
Clark Biscuit Apartments

Clark Biscuit Apartments • North Adams

Adaptive Reuse, Rehabilitation & Restoration

The Clark Biscuit Apartments represent the adaptive reuse of the H. W. Clark Biscuit Company complex, a collection of buildings constructed in the early 20th century and listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Locally, Clark Biscuit was a major employer, and the Clark family was a generous benefactor of many charitable institutions. The Clark Biscuit Company closed its operations and sold the property in 1954, after which the buildings were owned by a series of manufacturing companies until 1990. After nearly two decades of vacancy, the city took possession of the property in 2004 and sold it to Arch Street Development in February of 2008.

Renovation of the deteriorated buildings into 43 affordable apartments began in July 2008 and was completed in September 2009. The project included significant restoration of the historic masonry and concrete facades, installation of new roofing, and replacement of windows with historically appropriate, energy-efficient insulated windows. A complete build-out on the interior included a new central elevator, energy-efficient HVAC systems, and fire sprinkler service throughout. Brick, stucco, and wood walls and ceilings were retained. Two apartment units include original brick rotary ovens. A noncontributing garage addition was removed to make way for a pedestrian-friendly, landscaped entrance, and a deteriorated loading dock at the rear of the property was also removed, creating a new central courtyard. This project was funded in part through state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits, low-income housing tax credits and HOME funds through the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, and Affordable Housing Trust Funds provided by MassHousing. The renovated property provides much-needed quality affordable housing, while reviving the area’s connection to the North Adams downtown district and preserving a significant piece of the city’s history.

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