9 May Street

9 May Street, Worcester

The A.H. Hammond Organ Reed Factory was a 19th century factory building constructed over a period of approximately 20 years. The original wood-framed structure was built in 1868 and five major additions to the original building increased the size to approximately 61,900 square feet on four floors.

Adaptive Reuse of Historic Building


Worcester Common Ground


Carr, Lynch and Sandell



Completion Date

January 2009

Multi-Family Residential

This restoration and adaptive reuse project presented many challenges encountered while preserving this historical building’s character during the total/gut rehab process. The utmost attention to detail was required to preserve the historical features of the building.

Curtis Construction worked with the team to establish the essentials to restore the building while creating a more cohesive structure with clear entries and outdoor spaces. The restoration of the Hammond Organ Reed Factory required more than half of the foundation to be reinforced or reconstructed. Curtis devised a phasing and reinforcement plan to simplify the foundation restoration and retained as much of the original foundation as possible. The project also involved extensive repointing of the exterior brickwork. One large expanse of wall, approximately 65 feet long and once covered by modern industrial siding, was completely missing and had to be reconstructed. Many fourth-floor window dormers were deteriorated beyond repair and were replicated using new materials. New slate was installed on the mansard roofs facing May and Silver Streets. A landscaped entry courtyard was created for the full use of the remaining buildings. 

Working through winter conditions, and the inevitable challenges inherent in historic rehab/renovation projects, Curtis was successful in retaining and recreating original features. The end result was a welcome improvement to the neighborhood that honored the building’s origins while creating an 46 units of affordable housing.

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