William Maclay - Vermont Architects and Planners
Choices in Sustainability
Groton Redevelopment - Groton, Vermont
Site Plan for Vermont revitalization project - Groton Village Revitalization Project - Groton, Vermont - Maclay Architects

The Groton Village Revitalization Project, completed in 2006, is a mixed use housing, commercial and municipal project which rejuvenated the core of a small rural Vermont village. The recipient of a Smart Growth Award by the Vermont Forum on Sprawl in September of 2006, the revitalization project in Groton Village, a town of 900, is becoming a socio-economic hub for an area which was once void of culture and commerce. It is a successful model of redevelopment of smaller rural villages enhancing compact development patterns and reducing rural sprawl.

In the beginning of the project, The Village of Groton was in extreme distress, a by product of the general decline of the entire Northeast Kingdom of Vermont which suffered loss of industry, jobs and commerce and population. With these changes, many of the older structures in the Village core had been deserted and fallen into disrepair.

The residents of the community approached a local non-profit housing developer to assist in a village revitalization plan. They realized that renovating four buildings at the core of Groton Village (the Pancake House, the Lauzon Building, the Goodine Building, and the General Store, all dating from the 1800's) would go a long way towards creating a revitalized mixed use development in the village. By working with local municipal boards and through interactive community meetings and involvement, the owners were able to come up with uses, a program and an overall vision for the buildings and town center. They selected William Maclay Architects & Planners for the project. The architects evaluated what was salvageable and what needed to be completely restored and/or replaced. Through comprehensive planning and architectural design services, which included feasibility studies, building assessment, landscape design, and full architectural and design services, every element was evaluated and integrated into a comprehensive plan for the village center.

The building program adds 13 affordable housing units (only one of which is market rate), a handful of small business spaces, incubator space, a general store space and the only library in the town. For the first time in its history the entire public area of the complex is handicap accessible, creating a universal center which is open to everyone in the community.

In addition to the historic elements of the project, sustainability and energy conservation were incorporated. Buildings were evaluated and design measures were integrated to address interior and exterior moisture, and to ensure that energy conservation improvements would not harm the structures. Air sealing, blower door testing, and energy conservation surpassing code levels all contribute to the high performing building design. Embodied energy was reduced through maximizing reuse of existing buildings. Although no public transportation is available in this area of the state, the mixed use nature of this project reduces automobile use and enhances pedestrian activity.

The Village revitalization project has provided area residents the ability to purchase goods and participate in cultural events without leaving the town and has helped restore community vitality and livability in Groton.

Sustainable building project in Vermont - Groton Village Revitalization Project - Groton, Vermont - Maclay Architects