Hidden gems found during demolition at Putnam Block redevelopment

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Hidden gems found during demolition at Putnam Block redevelopment

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 3:42pm -- tim

Demolition of the Mount Anthony wing at the Putnam Hotel. The Mount Anthony House, which before it was destroyed by fire on November 12, 1868, was located at the corner of West Main and South Street, later the site of the Putnam Hotel. Construction began on the Putnam Hotel on July 4, 1870 nearly 150 years ago. Courtesy photos.

Vermont Business Magazine The $31 million Phase I Putnam Block Redevelopment Project that received funding from over 17 different public and private funding sources in addition to over 20 local investors, broke ground officially on August 7. Earlier this summer, and shortly after the financial closing that took place on June 14, the construction manager, Breadloaf, commenced selective interior and exterior demolition. Derelict and add-on buildings were torn down to reveal historic original buildings.

Bob Stevens points out character-defining historic tin ceiling that was uncovered in demolition along with columns that will be preserved

During a progress tour for the BRG (Bennington Redevelopment Group, LLC) on Thursday, October 3, Bob Stevens, a principal of both M&S Development, the project’s development consultant, and Stevens & Associates, its lead design firm, led the group through the stages of demolition of the former Courthouse (or Penny Saver Building), the former Putnam Hotel and the Winslow buildings.

One of the surprise discoveries made during the demolition Stevens pointed out was an historic tin ceiling and columns in one of the future residential spaces on the second floor of the Putnam Hotel.

Other welcome discoveries included previously unknown hardwoods and metalwork, which will be preserved enhancing the classical feel of Bennington’s new downtown.

Phase I of the Putnam Block revitalization will include the redevelopment of the historic Hotel Putnam, Old Courthouse, and Winslow Building, as well as site improvements to the property.

In addition to renovation of the three buildings in the National Register listed Historic District, Phase I encompasses demolition of structures, environmental cleanup, and the creation of parking and mixed-use office, residential, and retail space. 

When Phase I is completed, the Putnam Block will include 78,000 square feet of renovated space and 30 new market rate and income-qualified apartments which are expected to draw over 50 new residents to the downtown while creating hundreds of construction and permanent jobs for the area.

The Putnam Block Redevelopment Project is intended to act as a catalyst for economic and community development in southern Vermont and to serve as a replicable model for rural downtowns throughout the state.

View after demolition of Mount Anthony wing

Source: BENNINGTON, VT—October 7, 2019—M&S Development and Stevens Associates