Architecture and Planning Firm Commemorates Renovation of Historic Space With Elected Officials and Special GuestsTRENTON, N.J. (Jan. 5, 2010) – Clarke Caton Hintz (CCH), an award-winning architecture and planning firm founded in 1979, recently celebrated the grand opening of the firm’s new offices at the Trenton Masonic Temple located at 100 Barrack St. in Trenton, N.J.
The Grand Lodge of New Jersey, the statewide Masonic organization, acquired the Trenton Masonic Temple in 2004 for the purposes of restoring and managing its use. During the preservation work, CCH realized the potential of the unfinished third floor and decided to undertake the renovation project for the firm’s new headquarters while working with the Masons to prepare a long-term preservation strategy for the 80-year-old building.
The approximately 100 attendees were impressed at the spatial qualities of the new office, whose 11,000 square feet take up the entire two-story third floor of the building. The space, which houses 35 employees, features an open central atrium surrounded by a mezzanine level, as well as private offices and a conference room.
The project has also received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The Trenton Masonic Temple was originally constructed in 1927 to house five lodges. The neo-classical limestone building is one of the last truly grand Masonic facilities in the state.
“We are happy to be here,” said John Clarke, principal of Clarke Caton Hintz, which is known for its focus on urban revitalization and energy-efficient building practices. “This building will be LEED certified due to its downtown location and proximity to major transit hubs and it is close enough for some of our 35 employees to be able to walk to work. We also used recycled materials and innovation in the electronic systems as well.”
CCH outgrew its former space at the West Trenton Train Station in Ewing Township, another distinctive historic building that was preserved and adapted for use as offices by the firm.
CCH was able to make the transition to the new space with funding from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s Urban Plus program. The low-interest loan is part of a financing package that also included funding from the Bank of Princeton and a grant from the City of Trenton’s Urban Enterprise Zone Program. Urban Plus was specifically created to support the strategic economic development of nine key urban centers in New Jersey, including Trenton.
“Less than one year ago this looked entirely different,” said Caren Franzini, chief executive officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, who was introduced by Phil Caton, principal of Clarke Caton Hintz. “It’s amazing to see what CCH has created. This is a proud moment for the city of Trenton and CCH has been a great leader in business development, encouraged by Mayor Palmer. This Masonic Temple project is a big step forward for Clarke Caton Hintz and for the city.”
“This is a great day for this firm and I want to thank Clarke Caton Hintz, which has always had a love for Trenton and has cared for the capital city,” added Trenton Mayor Douglas Palmer, who was also in attendance. “CCH is a smart, visionary firm who has recognized that Trenton is a city on the move.”
In his concluding remarks, John Hatch, principal of Clarke Caton Hintz, thanked the public officials and others who made the project possible, including the Bank of Princeton, the Garden State Historic Preservation Trust, whose funds were awarded to help pay for the exterior restoration and interior rehabilitation; the Urban Enterprise Program; various contractors and inspectors; and the Masons, who are the landlords.
The work on the building is largely completed and the other two floors are available for public meetings and conferences.