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Engineering to support adaptive reuse

Published by Kate Whittle, Marketing Coordinator on November 9, 2023

Image courtesy BSPARK

Adaptive reuse is the process of reusing an existing building for a new purpose. Seeing older structures resuscitated is very rewarding. For developers and business owners, the character of the existing building can be uncovered in a way that would be nearly impossible to replicate with new construction. It can also be very risky. With every layer of past remodels removed, unforeseen challenges can add costs in a hurry.

One of my favorite watering holes is Cranky Sam Public House, a brewery just down the street from our Missoula office. Eclipse was fortunate to participate in bringing this venue to life with a mixture of new construction and adaptive reuse. During construction, workers uncovered a historic mural called the “Hidden Lady,” which is featured on Cranky Sam merchandise and inspired one of their bestselling beers. (Read more about the historic elements at Smithsonian Magazine.)

I always look forward to visiting businesses that have invested in extending the life of these special buildings, and appreciate the character they bring to places like Old Town Arvada in Colorado, the Old Mill district in Bend, and the timber towns of Whitefish, Portland, Missoula and Spokane.

Eclipse has been fortunate to be involved in many adaptive reuse projects over the last 25 years. They are among the most rewarding professionally, and we look forward to many more in the future. — Jesse Fortune, P.E., President and CEO, Eclipse Engineering

Adaptive Reuse Project Highlight: Kimpton Armory

The Kimpton Armory Hotel in downtown Bozeman, MT is a nine-story luxury hotel built over a historic three-story concrete National Guard Armory building.

Eclipse’s engineering design included upgrading existing cast-in-place floors and adding seismic joints throughout to to ensure compatibility in the event of movement due to seismic forces.

Construction completed 2020.

Image courtesy BSPARK

Adaptive Reuse Project Highlight: Baatz Historic Building

This adaptive reuse will update Great Falls’ historic Baatz Block building, which dates to 1913. The project updates the interior to create several units of affordable housing, including 8 ADA-accessible apartments, and a community services office on the first floor. Completion targeted for 2024.
Eclipse is proud to work with Montana-based architecture and planning firm BSPARK, which designed this project in compliance with the Montana HOME program and National Historic Preservation Tax Credit criteria. Image courtesy BSPARK.

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