The Cutler Block is an 1840s, three-story brick building in downtown Brattleboro. Stevens & Associates turned a run-down residential building into a mixed-use commercial building. Our offices are on the top two floors, and a storefront (soon to house a burrito restaurant) occupies the ground floor.
Included in the rehabilitation were structural repairs, asbestos abatement, new heating and air-conditioning systems, new sprinklers, fire alarms, and all new electrical systems and lighting.
The dramatic improvements to the building have transformed the outward appearance and interior, restoring a piece of history in the heart downtown Brattleboro.
The Cutler Block was rehabilitated according to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation; this not only enhanced its historic character, but made the project eligible for federal and state historic preservation tax credits.
Significant architectural features such as the brick walls, stone sills and lintels, wood floors, pressed tin ceilings, wood staircases and railings, plaster walls, wood trim, paneled wood doors, covered ceilings, light well, porches, and cast iron radiators were saved.
Restoration of historic buildings often brings with it some surprises; in the Cutler Block, there were structural deficiencies to address. Several floor beams had been compromised by installed plumbing runs, and needed to be reinforced without disrupting the historic metal ceiling in the retail space. Stevens & Associates designed a solution that put large composite engineered beams in the attic and suspended the upper two floors from them with a series of metal tension rods hidden in partitions. Metal tension rods were also added to existing roof beams to reinforce the roof to handle snow loads.
One of the project goals was to reduce the energy usage of the building. Added insulation, air-sealing, and new windows, along with new heating and air-conditioning and electrical systems, reduced the energy usage per square foot by almost 60%.