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The Maydestone is a historic building in downtown Sacramento, originally built in 1912 in the Mission Revival style, that has been redeveloped into affordable apartments using the affordable housing and historic preservation tax credits.  It featured studio and one bedroom apartments in the heart of downtown Sacramento.  A fire in 2003 left it derelict for  seven years, until a development firm proposed its renovation. On Septermber 25,2012, The Maydestone received National Register status.
Maydestone, 1930'sThe Maydestone, today

Most of the character-defining features of the building were completely intact, including original bathroom and kitchen fixtures. Pull-out beds were tucked beneath raised bathroom floors or kitchen counters and concealed behind built-in breakfront cabinets or desks.  All the windows are original.

The rehabilitation changed very little of the original floor plan, preserving the small studio units and the original breakfront cabinets, with the pull-out beds.  Modern bathrooms and kitchens were installed.  Original windows were retained, repaired and weatherstripped.  The wood floors were refinished. The original cage elevator was repaired and reused.

Pull-out bedCage elevator, interior

It is also an excellent example of how a historic rehabilitation can be an energy efficient project, expected to receive its LEED Silver certification soon. Sustainable elements such as solar thermal and photoelectric panels, a rain harvesting and irrigation system for existing window boxes, and clear solar film on original window glass, are integrated into the historic rehab. The original cage elevator recovers electricity while it brakes for floors, the same way a Toyota Prius recovers its energy, making the restored elevator both historic and 98% efficient.

The reuse of the building itself ensures the continued use of all the original material of the building, representing old growth timber and minerals mined, processed and transported over 100 years ago. It makes good use of its existing urban site, situated close to amenities and near light rail and public transit.

The Maydestone is an elegant example of tax credit rehabilitation success.


Presidio Public Health District
The Presidio Public Health Service Hospital (PSHS) was established in 1895. The historic 1932 building had two wings added to the front in 1952, which increased the capacity of the hospital to 480 beds. The hospital closed in 1981. 
The adaptive reuse of the hospital proposed 154 luxury apartments with parking. The 50’s era modern wings were removed to restore the original appearance of the hospital.
Public Hospital before
Original windows were retained, repaired and weatherstripped. Three new floors were added to the service wing at the rear of the building, connected with a glass corridor to the main hospital to differentiate the new construction from the existing. Public hallway locations and materials were preserved. Exterior brick, limestone, terra cotta and wood infill were restored  and cleaned. New seismic structure was fitted into the existing structure to meet current earthquake code.

Sustainability features were  integrated into the design to qualify for  LEED Gold certification. Features included proximity to services, walkability, low-maintenance landscaping, energy efficiency through envelope insulation, and efficient mechanical, lighting fixture and appliance equipment. These same features contributed to a LEED ND (neighborhood development) certification for the district.
The Public Health Service Hospital is an excellent example of a sustainable historic preservation tax credit project.
Public Hospital after                       Apartment interior


The following are examples of projects in California and elsewhere which have incorporated green principles into renovating and adaptively reusing historic buildings. This is only a sampling and is not an exhaustive list:

Green Buildings on Brown Fields Pilot Project

SAN DIEGORidgehaven "Green Building" Demonstration Project

SAN FRANCISCOBritish Motor Car Distributors
1998 Green Building Challenge - Thoreau Center at Presidio National Park 
Presidio Building 901 Deconstruction 
The Mint Project  

graphic: new CONCORD, MASSACHUSETTS"Deep Energy Retrofit of a Sears Roebuck House: A Home for the Next 100 Years"

U.S. Department of Energy, "Case Study: Concord Foursquare Retrofit"

ANN ARBOR, MIThe Greening of Dana

Montgomery Park Business Center (Brownfields remediation)
Montgomery Park: Adaptive Reuse

BILLINGS, MTAcme Building Renovation for low cost housing

BOSTON, MAJohn W. McCormack Federal Building

FLORIDABellview Biltmore Green Lodging Renovation Project

CANADAGreen Floors Initiative for multi-storey office buildings

CHICAGO, IL:  Center for Neighborhood Technology - Conversion of historic textile factory

LAWRENCE, MASenator William X. Wall Experiment Station Green Upgrade

Arbor House Environmental Inn

: Immaculate Heart of Mary Motherhouse

PHILADELPHIA, PA: Philadelphia Forensic Science Center

Natural Capital Center Restoration Balfour-Guthrie Building Renovation

SANTA FE, NMIronstone Gardens Development 
Villagra Building

SEATTLE, WA:  Vance and Sterling Buildings Upgrade