Central Grammar Apartments

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The Central Grammar School in Gloucester, Massachusetts served students for decades. In 1975 it was adapted into affordable elderly housing, the first such conversion in the country. Davis Square Architects was asked by The Community Builders and the Gloucester Development Team to lead the modernization of this aging building, which included fully renovated masonry, decorative terra cotta and granite, slate roof, and copper detailing.

Other building elements were carefully recreated to match their original splendor, such as mahogany windows, copper cresting, wood-paneled stairways and outbuildings. We began with a capital needs assessment and green charrette to provide the necessary decisions about materials and systems appropriate for the building’s efficient operation well into the future. Bathrooms and kitchens were also renovated, historically-appropriate lighting fixtures were reintroduced, and natural daylight was admitted into the apartments and common spaces through the addition of over 20 new skylights.