Renovation

What’s It Take to Preserve a Brutalist Building?

Attempts to rehabilitate these concrete buildings will likely be caught between conflicting aims of energy-related building codes and conservation standards.

Single-glazed curtain wall, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Gund Hall (John Andrews, completed 1969). All photos courtesy Bruner/Cott Today we face the challenge of a divided voice among preservationists: There are those who have a long-held reverence of original materials and those who recognize this way of thinking as unrealistic for many modern buildings. The preservation ethic that has guided American…

In Philadelphia, an Abandoned Bottling Plant Is a Makeshift Synagogue

Nestled in the Northern Liberties neighborhood, the site questions the nature of sacred space.

“Building for sale, pray within” Photography courtesy the author An abandoned 70,000-square-foot bottling plant in Philadelphia’s Northern Liberties neighborhood was just the right source for Rabbi Gedaliah Lowenstein, seventh generation Californian, to tap for his new synagogue. Of course, the price was also just right—rent free. An agreement with generous and supportive building owners, though, designated that the building could…