Putney General Store

On May 3, 2008, the historic Putney General Store was significantly damaged by fire. Reconstruction started immediately and was nearly complete when, on November 1, 2009, the building burned to the ground as a result of arson. A second construction effort, led by client Putney Historical Society and Maclay Architects, began and was completed by late 2011.

Stevens & Associates conducted a seven-month stabilization effort with an expedited cost plus construction management process. Portions of the work began even while design was continuing. This required close communication with all parties to manage the schedule and design process and make owner decisions without resulting in mistakes.

Our renovation of the original structure addressed not only fire damage, but also flaws in the original structure.The roof load had historically come through unsupported intermediate posts to the basement. We reframed to span clear to the eaves with a truss system. Because of water damage from fire fighting efforts, we had to remove the first floor, lower the basement by six inches, and rebuild everything, including the footings. The original building was cantilevered over a brook – the new building stretches further over the water. We used cantilevered steel beams with counterweights (buried concrete) and thermally isolated them from the foundation. A post and beam frame was used, and a double stud wall provides room for mechanical systems.

The flood height on the site is above the dam straddled by the building; our design intercepts ground water through the soil from above the dam to discharge below it. This effectively removes the hydro static and uplift forces that would result during a flood.