Former Electric Trolley Barn
A National Historic Register former electric Trolley Car barn situated at 3 Webster Street Salem, MA sat vacant for almost 10 years. Seger Architects was approached by a local developer interested in renovating and adapting the structure for housing.
Among the many challenges of converting a former shop into housing, the existing structure has no site and resides in the middle of a residential neighborhood. The fenestration was severely deteriorated and two large, former garage overhead door openings existed, partially infilled and devoid of the original character inherent in the handsome masonry structure.
Upon reviewing numerous options SAI and Developer Salem Renewal LLC opted to invert the townhome living configuration and place the living room/ kitchen/ dining space on the upper level and bedrooms on the grade/ entry level. This arrangement took advantage of views and privacy in areas where most time is spent. The high first level volume created for accepting tall vehicles crated vertical circulation challenges but opened the opportunity to design four parking spaces within the structure.
The configuration of 4 townhomes and two flats (above the garages) created an interesting mix of unit type and worked in harmony with the existing fenestration.
New windows replicating the existing, precast sills replacing rotted wood sills, extensive masonry repair, inverted dormer created to nestle unsightly mechanical units and salvaged artifacts of the original use adorning the new corridor create a stimulating synergy with the historic context and modern residential intervention.
The 3 Webster Street Apartment project has been awarded two design and restoration awards and both State and Federal Tax Credits for historic restoration.