Centerbrook Receives Preservation Award

CENTERBROOK, Conn. -- The Essex Historical Society recently presented Centerbrook Architects with its Annual Preservation Award for its long-term commitment to restoring and preserving its offices at 67 Main Street in Centerbrook, a village within the town of Essex. The brick building that forms the core of the firm’s offices was built in 1893, and along with several ancillary wooden structures served as a factory that fashioned drill bits until 1969.

The architects moved in the next year and proceeded to clean house, replacing large machinery driven by antiquated belts and pulleys with collaborative office spaces to produce contemporary building designs. Waterpower from the historic dam and sluiceway on the Falls River was repurposed to generate electricity. The dam has been in place and making power since the late 1600s.

Initially, the firm rented out portions of its building to retail businesses, but as the practice grew it eventually occupied all of the available space. The great flood of 1982 set back restoration efforts: destroying several of the wooden structures closest to the river. But the firm rebuilt, elevating the buildings on piles to withstand the next inevitable flood.

EHS President Sharon Clark presented the award to Centerbrook Partner Chad Floyd as ceremonies at the organization’s Pratt House Museum on West Avenue in Essex.

“Thanks to a month-long voting poll from the general public, the Essex Historical Society is very pleased to present Centerbrook Architects with our Annual Preservation Award,” said Melissa Josefiak, Director of the Society. “Their marvelous sensitivity to historic preservation and sustainable building practices makes them a leader in their field as well as an incredible asset and historic resource for the community.” Past winners have included the Ivoryton Playhouse and the Centerbrook Meeting House.