Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Architecture and Community Design

Major Professor

Dan Powers, M.Arch.

Committee Member

Stanley Russell, M.Arch.

Committee Member

Mark Weston, M.Arch.


Adaptive Reuse, Transformation, Saco, Maine, Industrial Buildings, Mills


With the downfall of industry, cityscapes have become speckled with post-industrial building fragments. Skeletons, left as the evidence of a past generation are waiting patiently for their chance to reemerge as active elements. Furthermore, they are ever-present but remain out of touch within the thriving urban organism that has engulfed their surroundings. These condemned giants, rich in history, location, aesthetics, and vigor sleep underneath the growth. Their post-industrial urban sites are generally discarded and forgotten. On these sites the fragments of the massive and extraordinary crumble. These large industrial buildings have become a burden to their communities. Not realizing what these decaying giants have to offer, people in the community wish to see them removed, losing the potential and beauty of these buildings forever.

Through adaptive-reuse, these sites can become active contributing parts of their communities. Sites become a canvas on which the voices of the past and present can speak to the future. Through research in new and inventive renovation techniques, cost efficiency, historical value, modern innovations, 2 green design, technology, as well as the use of new and existing materials, these buildings can begin to gain the approval of those opposed to their existence. Through an in-depth, hands-on look into interesting areas of mechanics, industrial gearing, and machinery, interactive elements of the past can come to life. These unused irritations can then be molded into working inhabitable elements for the future.

On a small island in Saco Maine a few of these giants slumber. A design project [reusing] these buildings and their sites will be developed to invigorate the area. This development will be designed using prior research and conceptual thinking related to an adaptive reuse strategy. This pursuit awakens idle, industrial buildings and generates a progression that links these elements as a cohesive part of the city.