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Mary Colbert Apartments  Charlestown, MA

This four-story masonry building, the former Harvard Primary School, was designed in 1871 by Boston architect and Civil War veteran Samuel J. F. Thayer (1842 - 1893). The adaptively reused building now provides subsidized rental apartments for senior citizens.


Our firm first surveyed the building in 2008 and prepared a phased approach to addressing deficiencies in the envelope. Initial work in 2011 included crucial remediation at the building gutters and downspouts, new roof flashing, wood window repairs and selective brick masonry. A subsequent 2014 phase encompassed new aluminum windows designed to match the original divided lite wood double hung windows and complete replacement of the original Monson black slate roof, which hung from cut iron nails and protected the building for over 140 years.  The envelope project came in under budget, which allowed for the complete redesign of two rooms at the ground floor level for a community meeting space and resident lounge in 2015.

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