The Mill at Middletown

Organization Name: Mill Street Partners with Magnusson Architecture and Planning

Project Title: The Mill at Middletown

Project Location: Middletown, NY

Project Goals:
Closed and abandoned for over 40 years, the Mill at Middletown was part of the thriving manufacturing industry in the City of Middletown. The hat factory complex was built by the Fuller Brothers in 1874 and the original factory consisted of seven principal buildings. It is an important and rare surviving example of the mid-19th century large scale industrial development in the City of Middletown and of the mid and upper Hudson Valley regions.

In order to be financially feasible, the project required the construction of 42 units, achieved through the conversion of the 1874 Mill building into 27 apartments and 15 additional units created in a newly constructed and attached building. The developer-partnership included local non-profit RECAP, who aim to complete the build out of the Fresh Start Café in the Mill building’s ground floor. The project qualified for the NYSERDA MPP Program.

Project Description:
The original Mill Building sits along a partially overbuilt creek and near an unused rail line and is within a quarter mile of the Middletown city center. Low-rise residential neighborhoods lie west and north of the new development and the east is predominantly commercial sites. Dilapidated and worn after being mostly vacant since 1978, the masonry shell required an extensive renovation and reinforcement with a new steel skeleton. The existing 3 story masonry and brick mill building was transformed into a 27-unit affordable rental apartment building with commercial space at the ground floor. A modern 4-story, 15-unit addition is attached by a series of transparent glass hallways situated in a way to allow the visibility of the old brick stack. The addition has larger corner windows to emphasize the contrast between the old and the new and is clad in siding reflecting the typical surrounding single family homes. A one-story brick annex building was repurposed into a community space.

Community Impact:
Through its transformation the Mill site contributes affordable and supportive housing to the evolving City of Middletown, NY and creates a monumental historic destination in the preservation of an essential part of local manufacturing history. The ground floor space of the original Mill building will house the Fresh Start Café, a culinary arts job training program and support RECAP’s “welfare to work initiative”. Designed to help people on public assistance to succeed in the professional world, the café will be a training center, a neighborhood amenity and generate community engagement.

Organization Description:
Mill Street Partners is a for-profit community development company which focuses on design sensitive, job creating and community-appropriate development projects throughout the New York metropolitan area. MSP, a joint venture between MAP Development Associates LLC and Excelsior Housing Group, LLC, typically partners with local non-profit organizations and other for-profit entities to bring together the highest level of expertise and local knowledge to come up with development plans that meet the needs and goals of the local community. RECAP was established in 1965 and is the designated anti-poverty agency in Orange County. As a multi-service agency our varied programs offer many options for residents who need help. Magnusson Architecture and Planning is a creative design firm based in New York City. For over 30 years MAP has created thriving and sustainable communities through excellence in design and planning.

    The Mill building and addition at sunset, fall 2017

    The original front entrance and signage of the Mill building

    Elevation of the restored masonry façade

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