Restoring our Past. Planning for its Future.
Marshall Craft Associates is a full service architecture, interior design, and master planning firm specializing in the restoration and adaptive reuse of historic structures. Since the beginning of our practice, our team of trained and professionally licensed architects have worked effectively to document, evaluate, and determine the best ways to reconstruct and improve historically significant buildings located throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. As preservationists we provide owners, facility managers, and developers with the appropriate tools to protect their historic properties, reclaim existing space, and conserve historic landmarks for the enjoyment of future generations. As designers we work with owners to realize projects through the modernization of existing building systems, careful analysis and re-creation of traditional building elements, and detailed development of historically accurate design solutions that complement the original architecture.
Historic + Adaptive Reuse
The conservation and preservation efforts to protect an object of historic and, often, intrinsic value involves the professional analysis, restoration, and in-kind re-creation or repair of existing architectural elements. Depending upon the extent of improvements planned, Historic Structures Reports (HSR) are assembled—such with the U.S. National Park Service properties and buildings MCA has assessed, which are registered on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Upon request, Historic Tax Credit (HTC) assistance is also available for qualified properties seeking local, state, or federal tax incentives for applicable improvements to historic buildings.
This work involves thorough field observation and documentation of a building site to generate existing floor plans, elevations, and other valuable record drawings which aid in planning future development. Our team of on-site surveyors are capable of recreating multiple building plans, including 2 dimensional drawings, 3D models, and highly accurate laser point cloud scans, if desired.
These assessments are on-site analyses of existing building systems and materials to determine useful life and the documentation of existing building deficiencies. Deliverables can include photographic evidence, keyed base plans, and recommendations for future improvement, maintenance, and repair. BCA or FCA deliverables may also include code compliance surveys to ensure that existing building elements comply with local, state, and federal building codes.
At MCA we have established relationships with professional consultants who offer a wide range of technical expertise in the conservation and architectural preservation of historic structures. Traditionally we have partnered with experienced consultants to provide the following services: Material Identification and Product Testing | Paint Analysis | Temporary Shoring | National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) Section 106 Documentation | Archaeological Services | Subgrade Analysis & Test Borings | U.S. National Park Service Historic Structures Reports (HSR) | Historical Archive Research | Local, State, and Federal Historic Tax Credit (HTC) Assistance
Our Baltimore Headquarters in Historic Clipper Mill
Originally constructed in the 1890’s, the historic Assembly building formed an important component of the Poole & Hunt Machine Works, which for a time was the largest fabricator of iron and steel machinery and building components in the United States (notably, the 36 iron columns and capitals supporting the exterior dome of the U.S. Capitol Building).
MCA has provided a flexible, vibrant, and modern work environment for our employees involved in architecture, planning, and interior design. All workspaces, including that of the Principals, are in an open studio designed to foster communication, creative collaboration, and learning. There are open working areas, collaboration spaces, and breakout zones for meetings, conversations, or a place to reorient. A generous cafe area, featuring a large, salvaged steel bridge beam used as a serving counter, becomes a great place to meet with colleagues. The main conference room features a custom table of thick, live-edged Pennsylvania Black Walnut slabs on a steel structure, fabricated by Wayne Stump Studios of Portsmouth, Ohio.
The Finer Points of Existing Conditions Documentation
The existing conditions of historic buildings can be difficult to document. Often these facilities include ornate detailing that need to be preserved or restored. One of the most effective ways to record complex spaces is through three-dimensional laser scanning. This technique utilizes point-cloud technology to make a digital image of a room or building. MCA used this method to document Harvard College’s Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection. Three-dimensional laser scanning using point-cloud technology allowed the design team to not only record the detailed moldings in the space, but also the permanent collections. Check out the video on the left while we navigate through the point-cloud map of Dumbarton Oaks.
Digging for Answers - Specialized Consultation
Historic + Adaptive Reuse projects frequently run into a wide range of highly specialized topics requiring equally specialized insight. MCA often collaborates with our preferred team of experts in areas as diverse as archaeology, plaster, paint or terra cotta restoration, structural underpinning, the sourcing of stone from historic quarries, or custom window construction, to name just a few. You name it – we’ve probably done it. For example, on one c:1915 science building renovation project, we worked with our hazardous materials specialist on both the removal of 100 years of toxic bat guano from the attic, and the mitigation of explosive perchloric acid crystals from old fume hood vents! MCA brings a knowledge of the issues that may be encountered, a go-to team of subspecialist consultants to turn to when necessary, and strong design team management to bring it all together.