Graham Plays Central Role in “Preservation’s Best of 2015” Winner

March 30, 2016

Each year in March, during National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week, advocates and politicians gather to recognize America’s most outstanding Historic Tax Credit projects for rejuvenating neighborhoods by giving new life to venerable buildings.

This year at a congressional reception in Washington, D.C., the Cigar Factory – a Charleston, SC, project near and dear to Graham Architectural Products’ heart – was one of eight projects recognized as one of “Preservation’s Best of 2015.

Graham played a key role in renovating the 135-year-old structure by designing and manufacturing 361 historic replication windows – a mix of the HI 2200H Series Single Hung and HI 6800 Series Fixed – that met National Park Service requirements.

The fact that regional code insisted on hurricane-resistant windows made the project significantly more challenging, especially since in many cases the window openings were over 10 feet tall.

According to Ron Stang, AIA, LEED AP, and principal at the architectural firm STEVENS & WILKINSON (S&W), “Getting the windows right was no doubt the most important component in rehabilitating the Cigar Factory into an award-winning, successful ‘Certified Rehabilitation’ project.

“With only aged, small scale black and white photos of the original wood windows, and a small piece of an original window frame found during demolition, S&W architects worked closely with GAP to nearly replicate the original historic windows with replacement single hung, hurricane/impact rated units whose details were closely scrutinized by the staff at the National Park Service.”

Built in 1881 as a cotton mill, the five-story, 244,000-square-foot structure was converted into a factory for the American Tobacco Company in the early 1900s. By the 1930s, the factory was the largest private employer in Charleston with 1,400 workers generating more than 400,000 cigars daily. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

After sitting vacant for years, the Cigar Factory is now a mixed use building featuring retail and event space, professional offices, and restaurants.

As Stang said, “The Cigar Factory has been reborn to serve Charleston for a full second century.”

Small Bounce-Back for Architectural Billings Index

March 23, 2016

The Architectural Billings Index (ABI) took a small step forward in February, rebounding from January’s dip, as national demand in design services experienced a small increase.
The Architecture Billings Index, produced for the American Institute of Architects by the AIA Economics & Market Research Group, is a leading economic indicator that provides an approximately nine-to-twelve month …

Massachusetts Restoration Gets Boost From Graham

March 18, 2016

Once again, Graham Architectural Products has helped to restore beauty to some truly historic buildings.
Very soon, the first residents are expected to move into Cable Mills, an adaptive reuse of the one-time Water Street Mill, built in 1873 in Williamstown, MA.
Three historic mill buildings on a nine-acre site have been renovated to accommodate …

Graham Architectural Products Adds Two, Promotes One

March 14, 2016

Graham Architectural Products has announced a promotion and two new hires. Taylor Caterbone, who started her career at GAP three years ago as a staff accountant, has been promoted to cost accountant.
Tayor’s previous responsibilities included sales tax filing, backlog reporting, daily revenue reporting, and cost and profits reporting.  Taylor’s new position will be geared toward working with …

Construction Numbers Strong In February

March 7, 2016

February’s economic numbers provided a double dose of good news for the construction industry.
The Dodge Momentum Index, a monthly measure of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building projects in planning, rose 0.5 percent in February, the third consecutive month-to-month gain for the Index.
A 1 percent jump in commercial planning more than …

Graham and Jensen Window Contribute to Award-Winning Project

March 1, 2016

When the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel took home the award for Best Hotel Upscale at the 35th annual Gold Key Awards for Excellence in Hospitality Design, Graham Architectural Products and Jensen Window Corporation also experienced a burst of pride.
The former home of the once-exclusive Chicago Athletic Association – now reimagined as a 241-room hotel …