Awards People Restoration/Renovation

CHC Richard E. Neal Complex Wins MHC Preservation Award – Designed by Dietz & Co.

Caring Health Center Interior

Health Center Interior / Woodruff/Brown Photography

Street view of Caring Health Center

Caring Health Center / Woodruff/Brown Photography








Springfield, MA – Caring Health Center, Inc. was awarded the prestigious 2015 Massachusetts Historical Commission Preservation Award for the adaptive reuse, rehabilitationm and restoration at the Caring Health Center Richard E. Neal Complex.

Dietz & Company Architects, Inc. senior project architect, Debbi Gottlieb, was the project architect for the rehabilitation, restoration, and adaptive reuse of the three contiguous historic buildings (The Coomes, Morse Block, and the Smith Carriage Company Building). Barr & Barr Builders served as the construction manager for the project.

This work resulted in the conversion of former vacant commercial buildings into a full-service licensed community health center that retains the buildings’ historic features.

The rehabilitation included structural repairs and reinforcement in all three buildings, masonry and stone repair and repointing, new roofing, new windows and storefronts, restoration of historic trim, new partitions/finishes, new stairs, handicap accessibility upgrades, and new electrical, mechanical, and fire protection systems.

The renovation of Caring Health Center retained the distinct character of each of the three buildings with their range of historic materials and finishes.


An already complex project was further complicated by the June 2011 tornado that severely damaged the buildings and could have resulted in demolition. Thanks to the unending dedication and determination of the Owner, the design team, and construction manager, additional funding was obtained and historically appropriate materials were carefully researched and secured to retain the historic integrity of the buildings and complete the project.

The Caring Health Center rehabilitation project created a major positive

transformation of the surrounding community and the Commonwealth as a whole.

As a primary care facility, the center serves the Springfield community as a patient’s first point of entry to the health care system and as the gateway for all additional health care services. According to Debbi Gottlieb, Senior Project Architect at Dietz & Company Architects, “The rehabilitation and sensitive reuse of these long-vacant, tornado damaged, downtown buildings into an active community based health center has strengthened this vital and diverse urban neighborhood and will serve the community for years to come.”