Saco Island Apartments, Saco

o   The York Engine/Boiler House is significant for its associations with the York Manufacturing Company and the development of Saco as a major industrial city in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The York Manufacturing Company established its first cotton mill in Saco in 1830 and continued to grow into the 1840s.

Major expansion in the late 19th century resulted in construction of the earliest section of the Boiler/Engine House (central portion) in 1880 to supply sufficient power to run the mill buildings. Continued expansion of the mill yard paralleled enlargement of the Boiler/Engine House in the early 20th century. The northern wing was erected in 1911, while the southern addition was built in 1922.

The York Manufacturing Company profited during WWI and survived the textile depression of the early 1920s but by the time the stock market crashed in 1929, the looms had ceased production under the original management. The company was acquired by several different manufacturing companies throughout the twentieth century before the last occupants vacated the building in 1985.

After sitting vacant for nearly 30 years, David Bateman, Archetype Architects, and Portland Builders worked closely with the Maine State Housing Authority and the Town of Saco in order to rehabilitate the turn of the century Boiler/Engine House into workforce housing apartments. Working on the exterior wall proved challenging as the building sits along the river.  

o   The rehab work done to the Boiler/Engine House kept the historic fabric of the building intact and preserved the memory of the turn of the century Saco mill industry while giving the mill a new life with beautiful living units that overlook the river and dam.

Nathan Clifford Residences, Portland

John Calvin Stevens designed the Classical Revival style Nathan Clifford School as part of the beautification movement in the City of Portland in 1907-09. The school served as an anchor of the Oakdale neighborhood in Portland for over one hundred years. It closed its doors to much controversy in 2011 in favor of a new elementary school at another site.

Developers Collaborative purchased the vacant and deteriorating building in 2013. Vandals had ripped screens, tagged the building with graffiti, and broken many of the windows. The building suffered from a leaking room which led to damage of the alcove ceiling in the auditorium. The east exterior needed extensive brick repointing in the blond faced brick. Much of the plaster tested positive for asbestos and therefore had to be either abated or carefully contained.

The original wooden floors needed care and light sanding. Many of the original wood windows had been replaced by the school department with aluminum replacements that were not operating properly and did not match the buildings' architectural style, so 116 wooden windows replaced the aluminum ones, while 18 historic windows remained in the stairways. The auditorium was converted into apartment space and architectural trim, doors, cabinets, chalkboards, and corridors were preserved

Developers Collaborative also protected and preserved murals within the school created by students and a 1930’s visiting artist, as they felt the murals were intrinsic to the history of the building. The original handwashing basin from the girl’s bathroom was refurbished into a fountain within the landscaping.

The total cost of the project was $7 million, and it received federal and state historic tax credits. The Nathan Clifford project preserved the historic integrity of the building, creating new spaces, valuable housing, and a community park for the neighborhood while still maintaining the historic identity of this iconic building. The project has become an example in the City of a successful public-private partnership.