79 Elm Street

The program objectives for this project were dual: to save and preserve an important historic structure, and to provide a modern office building with enclosed parking on a tight urban corner site. Smith Edwards McCoy Architects completed a renovation feasibility study which indicated that the net to gross efficiency of the building could be increased by filling in an existing light well with a newly constructed mechanical and circulation core. To achieve the owner’s additional area requirements, an 82,000 square foot addition was built which provided five levels of office space and two levels of parking.

A complete restoration of the exterior was undertaken, as well as the renovation of the important interior spaces. The work included replacing the existing tile roof, a complete cleaning and repointing of the masonry, resetting and anchoring the terra cotta ornament, the refurbishment of all the wood windows and doors, and the restoration of the decorative iron work. In the interior, the marble and terrazzo elevator lobbies were restored and the bronze elevator doors, frames and hall position indicators were preserved. The auditorium space and the main barrel-vaulted lobby were, through careful paint analysis, restored to their original color schemes. Paneled meeting rooms and offices had all their finishes preserved and new pendant lighting fixtures were provided in the locations of the originals. The rest of the building’s interiors, which were not of historic interest, were upgraded and modernized into open office space.

This project received the1996 International Masonry Institute’s Golden Trowel Award.


State of Connecticut Department of Public Works




Completed 1993

State Office Building Outside

State Office Building Inside