The McElwain School, built in 1912 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, had been vacant since 1997. Our design team found creative and resourceful ways to preserve and retain the historic building, prioritizing uses for families and aging seniors while meeting strict funding challenges, affordable housing regulatory requirements and the goals of local community groups.
The design keeps virtually all historically significant details of the building and its densely wooded site, rehabilitating the McElwain School and its neighboring house and barn, adding a new residential building and a new public green. Neutral wood finishes, textured shake and clapboard siding pay homage to classic New England architecture, blending with the understory of trees and serving as a background for the historic school building. McElwain is the first Passive House multifamily development in Bridgewater.