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Adaptive Reuse & Historic Projects

The greenest building is the one already built.

Hillman Mechanical and the Porter Electric Warehouse
The Hillman Mechanical and Porter Electric structures were converted from underutilized warehouse structures into mixed used, fully restored buildings. But, the largely forgotten buildings needed a creative solution. Although the Hillman Mechanical building, the one story warehouse structure, was a contributing structure to the Minneapolis Warehouse Historic District, the Porter Electric was not. The developer, Paster Properties and Urban Anthology, were concerned about the inability to utilize historic tax credits for the both structures. After some investigation and digging through historical archives, AWH found the hook. The Porter Electric, certainly a structure built within the period of significance of the warehouse district, had been overlooked in the original nomination since it had been altered in the 1970’s. The solution was to remove the non-contributing work and renominate the building which was accepted by the National Park Service thereby allowing both buildings being able to fully utilize the historic tax credits. Work included wood window restoration, full masonry restoration, and careful interior rehabilitation. The project received both Minneapolis HPC Certificate of Appropriateness and NPS approvals.

Hewing Hotel

When the Jackson Building became available in 2012 after many unsuccessful redevelopment attempts AWH was engaged to perform a Value Analysis to review the options for the building including a Condition Assessment, Fit Plans and Historical Review. The team decided to move forward and, partnering with ESG and Mike Gordon, Assoc. AIA (now with AWH), Alpha Theory, Aparium, and Fe Equus, the Jackson Building was transformed into the uber chic Hewing Hotel. The project is a shining jewel at the gateway to the Historic North Loop and an excellent example of how historic preservation, adaptive reuse and design can successfully work together.

Winner of 2017 Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Award for Historic Restoration, Rehabilitation, or Adaptive Reuse Project

Winner of 2017 Preservation Alliance of Minnesota Honor Award

Maytag Building

The Maytag Building is getting a new breath of life. Erected in 1916 by the Maytag Company, in the classical Chicago School style, this Minneapolis warehouse building served as the company’s northwest branch.

Today the building is underutilized as the surrounding area has become a hub of urban activity. AWH Architects was hired to redevelop the building into a thriving commercial office space on the upper floors with retail on the first floor. Careful study and investigation was undertaken to understand the original character of the building revealing hidden exterior openings that will re-introduce the original daylight floors and the original “Maytag” sign carved into stone above the main entry that was obscured by a large modern sign. As a Historic Tax Credit project the exterior shell will be fully restored with many of the original windows being rehabilitated and a new stair core carefully located to bring the building up to modern code standards. A ‘pocket park’ with paths, landscaping and a rainwater garden is designed on the south side to provide exterior landscaped areas for the building occupants as well as a much needed respite in the dense urban location. On the interior all the non-historic elements will be removed leaving the original character of the building to act as a backdrop for occupants.

Printers Exchange Building

The Printers Exchange Building (1915) at 16-18 Fourth Street North is a seven-story, brick and reinforced concrete building completed in the Gothic Revival Style. The building was designed by local architect Victor Felix V. De Brauwere for Chas. H. McKee.

The building stored movie films into the 1960s when it began use as a fur storage building. After years of deferred maintenance and under-utilization, the building is posed to become a revived anchor for this part of the Minneapolis Warehouse Historic District. The primary facade facing 4th street is clad in terra-cotta and will be restored to its original glory. The large hot-rolled steel windows on the west side will be rehabilitated with the masonry and concrete structure being restored.

Thorp Building

The Historic Thorp Building is a unique complex of creative industrial spaces, art studio and galleries, businesses roaming hallways and Northeast Minneapolis artifacts. AWH Architects has been the base building architect for the Thorp Building, a 250,000 GSF former GE Factory for 10 years. Our firm has guided the Owner through multiple and on-going renovations. Work has included rebranding the complex as the Thorp, wayfinding, full code analysis, historic rehabilitation efforts to bring the building back to its former glory, entitlement reviews and multiple tenant fit outs.

View the code plan PDF.


In collaboration with WSN, AWH is bringing the Carnegie Library in Bemidji, MN back to life.

Northwestern Glass

Partnering with the Ackerberg Group, AWH developed a design to convert this sleepy north loop Minneapolis historic warehouse into a multi-tenant creative workplace.

Urban Outfitters

As Project Architect for MSR, Alex Haecker converted these historic Philadelphia Navy Yard buildings into the corporate headquarters for Urban Outfitters.

Workplace Design

opus [latin] · noun · work, fortifications


In collaboration with Lazor Office, AWH developed an open workspace environment for this Uptown, Minneapolis ad agency.


Bailey Laureman

In collaboration with BVH Architects, AWH is creating a collaborative and creative workplace for the Omaha ad agency.

“You guys seriously did a great job. We knew it was going to test whoever took on this assignment, just given the strong opinions and perceived sense of our inherent “design” expertise. You managed it all masterfully!” – Julia Doria


In collaboration with Lazor Office, AWH created a co-working environment for a group of independent branding and ad agencies. 

Residential Work

vivo [latin] · verb · to live, to sustain, support life

Hermit Hovel, Lake Tomahawk, Wisconsin

Located on a private island purchased from the Olmsted family in the 1950’s this newest addition to the collection of buildings and boathouse sits atop the highest point overlooking the lake and state forest lands across the water. The shotgun style structure hovers above the forest floor on wood posts set on diamond piers and is designed to feel like one big screen porch. The entire south facade is operable doors and can be opened up to the lake breezes. The plan is oriented on the cardinal points and takes advantage of the sunsets off of the living/dining area/deck while the eastern morning sun beams in the bedroom windows. The simple shed style roof ties the plan together and is interrupted by a reverse dormer at the main entry door. Constructed of SIPs (structurally insulated panels) and LVLs for the structure and shiplap, wood paneling and rubio finished walnut floors for the interior finishes the design provides a simple and clean look.

Dixon Chapple

A guest cabin on Madeline Island, Wisconsin designed to take advantage of lake views and shelter from nearby road.

Midtown Crossing

In collaboration with Urbain DRC, AWH collaborated on a multi-family complex intended to transform the Midtown Phillips neighborhood with multi-generational housing, access to the greenway and eyes on the street.


130 acre co-housing development for 60 units based on permaculture and self-sufficiency. 


A writer’s cabin on Madeline Island, Wisconsin which provides a respite among the treetops that reinterprets the island vernacular.

Lake of The Isles Residence

Master suite remodel to early 20th C house on Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis. The design combined a series of incongruent rooms into a cohesive, calm and elegant suite. The bathtub is carefully situated to provide views of the lake while the bedroom provided high awning windows for privacy and ventilation.

Solar Projects

Converting our power needs from carbon based to onsite renewables.

Nokomis Solar Pavilion

Situated between the bath house and the widely popular Sandcastle eatery, the Nokomis Solar Pavilion provides an area of respite while also generating energy. The 7kW TenK Solar Array sits a top a custom designed galvanized steel frame and frames the entry onto the beach. Beach goers and visitors alike can utilize the picnic benches and enjoy a bit of shade while marveling over the shadow patterns cast by the array. The project was funded both by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and an Xcel RDA grant. Go visit!

Edison High School

Edison High School was transformed into a model green campus with state of the art energy efficiency and stormwater systems. Utilizing neglected space adjacent to their sports facilities sustainability was pursued to the utmost with this addition. A new entry and educational experience was created with a massive solar array, storm water collection and treatment, community garden and greenhouse, and concession stand. In addition to creating a place to gather and pass through, these systems are designed to be educational tools for students, visitors, and the neighborhood, helping raise the next generation  of environmental stewards.

Tiny Diner

The Tiny Diner, the latest restaurant concept by the famed Minneapolis restaurateur Kim Bartman, sought a different level to the locavores, farm to table, and regionalism wave that is sweeping the restaurant scene—take it off of the grid and grow a majority of the produce on the dense, urban, and used to-be contaminated site. The Tiny Diner, with its solar canopy, collects power from the sun, as well as rainwater, and directs it to the site’s various gardens. At the same time, it covers the large outdoor seating area. The Tiny Diner sets a new bar for the Minneapolis restaurant scene.

Performance Art

Building community spaces for performance artists.

Crane Theater

AWH Architects has been hired to develop the design and retrofit of the old Westinghouse Warehouse building in Northeast Minneapolis into the new home for the Crane Theater. Envisioned as an Educational Arts gathering space for emerging theaters, the Crane will have workshops, community meeting room, and two performance venues; one large and one small. Careful consideration and detail has gone into seamlessly integrating the existing industrial components (including a 10 ton overhead crane) with the new program.

View the floor plan PDF.

Strike Theater

Strike Theater, a Twin Cities sketch comedy, storytelling, and spoken word theater, has hired AWH to help them transform a portion of the historic Thorp Building in NE Minneapolis into their new home. Along with shepherding the theater company through tricky entitlement process, AWH has developed an intriguing, simple and thoughtful design the utilizes the existing historic aspects of the building with the new use as a performing art space.

View the floor plan PDF.

The Avalon

The Avalon Theater, built as a silent movie theater in the early 20th Century, has been the home of the In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater for over 25 years. Alex Haecker has sat on the board for over three years and has helped the non-profit consider the full utilization of the theater along with various scenarios and funding streams to help maintain the historic structure.