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Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects Complete Block 563/Howard Street East Redvelopment Design Concepts

Murphy and Dittenhafer Block 563 Baltimore

Commissioned by Baltimore Development Corporation in 2014, Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects has recently completed the concept master plan design for the rehabilitation and redevelopment of twenty existing properties on a 2.5-acre parcel known as Block 563 in the historic Market Center District on the west side of downtown Baltimore, MD.

The project integrated comprehensive building and site analysis, including evaluations of traffic patterns, zoning, utilities, infrastructure, current and planned development activities within the neighborhood, and historic preservation considerations of the Maryland Historic Trust and Baltimore City’s Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP).

Murphy and Dittenhafer Block 563 Baltimore

Murphy & Dittenhafer’s final concept redevelopment design incorporates the preservation of at least 15 historic structures and façades along Howard Street, Franklin Street, and Park Avenue in conjunction with the adaptive reuse of the five-story brick substation buried in the middle of the block at 409-419 Tyson Street. New construction for mid-rise mixed-use is proposed at the corner of Mulberry Street and Park Avenue to replace the existing two-level concrete parking structure, along with multilevel construction at the on-grade parking lot at 215 West Franklin. The plan also identifies select site opportunities for new multilevel infill construction, replacing non-contributing structures or those that have structurally collapsed along both North Howard and West Franklin Streets.

Murphy and Dittenhafer Block 563 Baltimore

The Murphy & Dittenhafer plan proposes a vibrant mixed-use redevelopment for the entire block that is residentially based, accommodating over 200 new residential units at upper floor levels, over 20 new retail/office/commercial locations at street level, a major new commercial designation within the tall volume lower-level substation spaces, and possibilities for multilevel structured parking at two locations internal to the block and not visible from perimeter streets, with landscaped green roof courtyards above. New mid-block pedestrian connections from Howard Street and Park Avenue are proposed as part of the transformation of this one-block section of Tyson Street from a narrow, nondescript paved roadway to a pedestrian-friendly space celebrating the alley-like culture of the block and the adaptive reuse of the dynamic substation structure.

Murphy and Dittenhafer Block 563 Baltimore

“The redevelopment will provide a contemporary and refreshing approach to reinvigorate this district,” says Murphy & Dittenhafer project manager Lauren Merrill, “while designing with a sensitivity that enhances the important historical character of the neighborhood.

Murphy & Dittenhafer expects Baltimore Development Corporation to release a Request for Proposals from development teams for the various parcel zones of Block 563 within the first half of 2015.

Murphy & Dittenhafer Design for York JCC Under Construction

Murphy & Dittenhafer York JCC

The York Jewish Community Center’s membership is thriving beyond the capacity of their facility, and construction for two new additions is underway.

Murphy & Dittenhafer York JCC

After evaluating multiple expansion/renovation options within a feasibility study, the York JCC commissioned Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects to design the alterations and additions to the facility, including a 10,820-square foot childcare addition and 6,240-square foot wellness center addition. The design incorporates significant natural daylighting, energy conservation measures, views of the campus quadrangle, and extends the signature JCC vocabulary of multicolored masonry and blue metal roofs.

The expanded childcare wing will include four DPW-certified classrooms and a flexible motor skills room with high ceiling heights. The expanded wellness wing will include three large new rooms for weightlifting, various individual and group fitness programs, and a dance studio. The final plans also include renovations and systematic updates to several existing areas of the facility, including locker rooms, administrative areas, and a babysitting room.

The building will remain occupied and fully operational throughout construction, requiring the project construction to be phased for minimal disruption of the organization’s programming.

Construction began in December 2014, and Murphy & Dittenhafer expects completion and occupancy of this $5,600,000 project by the end of 2015.

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Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects is an award-winning architectural firm that focuses on planning, interior, and architectural design projects involving new construction, renovation, restoration, and adaptive reuse for historic properties, churches, urban housing, nonprofit organizations, higher education, and libraries. The firm’s offices are located in York, Pennsylvania and Baltimore, Maryland. Visit their website at murphdittarch.com.

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Murphy & Dittenhafer Receives State Award for Historic Preservation

Murphy & Dittenhafer’s work on Schmucker Hall, at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, was recognized by Preservation Pennsylvania at the 2014 Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Awards ceremony on Friday, September 26 at Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA.

The awards, which have been presented annually since 1979, honor those projects that exemplify the core values of historic preservation. The 2014 selection committee commented:

“This rehabilitation project utilized federal rehabilitation investment tax credits, which required adherence to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and the preservation of the building’s character-defining features. The project involved accessibility upgrades, structural stabilization, roof replacement, reconstruction of lost elements including the east entry stairs and the 1914 Peace Portico.

The resulting space provides a venue for a state-of-the-art interpretive museum...Schmucker Hall has been rehabilitated to provide a unique venue that invites the public to actively engage in stories related to the history of the building, site and region.”

Frank Dittenhafer II, FAIA, LEED AP, Murphy & Dittenhafer principal-in-charge for the Schmucker Hall/Seminary Ridge Museum rehabilitation, stated, “It was truly a privilege to be the architect for this landmark project and work with a dedicated team of collaborators over several years - from the initial adaptive reuse concept planning through the final restoration and repair of historic components. The design, planning, and construction process was extremely positive and the final outcome exceptional.

In addition to Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects, the award honored the project’s other partners, including: Seminary Ridge Historic Preservation Foundation, Adams County Historical Society, Delta Development Group, Inc., Whiting Turner Contracting Company, and Morgan-Keller, Inc.

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Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects is an award-winning architectural firm that focuses on planning, interior, and architectural design projects involving new construction, renovation, restoration, and adaptive reuse for historic properties, churches, urban housing, nonprofit organizations, higher education, and libraries. The firm’s offices are located in York, Pennsylvania and Baltimore, Maryland. Visit their website at murphdittarch.com.

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