Hartford, CT – The Blue Ribbon Awards for CREW CT – The Real Estate Exchange were held on Thursday, April 10, 2014 at the Bond Ballroom in Hartford, CT. This annual awards program recognizes and honors excellence in real estate accomplishments in Connecticut. Real Estate professionals, as well as designers, developers, planners and other allied professionals were invited to submit nominees of projects completed in Connecticut during the 2013 calendar year, in categories ranging from Multifamily Residential to Healthcare, from Commercial to Sustainable Design.
This year’s awards were presented to an inspiring mix of innovative sustainable projects, healthcare and community organizations, and a number of historic renovations or imaginative re-uses of existing structures and properties. The Blue Ribbon award for Best Project was chosen from the finalists in these categories, and was kept secret until the awards ceremony. The ceremony attendees were also invited to vote for their favorite projects, via the People’s Choice Awards.
The Blue Ribbon Award was given to the Charles H. Barrows STEM Academy, located in Windham, CT. STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The new 84,000 s.f. academy serves 600 students from Windham and ten surrounding towns. The school curriculum was driven by the needs of a rural population with a historically poor academic record and low socio-economic levels. This new STEM school is intended to re-invigorate the school system and provide more opportunity for students and citizens. Students who study within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields are well prepared for high school and college with a strong understanding of core academic content and self-driven learning. The school itself is also a model of forward thinking design: wind turbines, solar electric panels and photovoltaic panels generate power, and the building is fitted with an interactive smart board displaying live data from solar panels and wind turbines. The design firm id3A accepted the award.
One of the two People’s Choice Awards went to the restoration of the Mill at Hop Brook, in Simsbury, CT. Parts of this historic structure date back to the 1680s. It has been completely restored to house Millwright’s Restaurant and 10,000 s.f. of commercial office space. Fuss & O’Neill acted as the landscape architect, civil engineer and traffic engineer.
The second People’s Choice Award was presented for the restoration of the Old State House Cupola, in downtown Hartford. Built in 1796 and designed by Charles Bullfinch, the Old State House – a designated National Historic Landmark — is arguably the most historically significant building in Connecticut. After much internal structural work, a new flat-seam copper dome was installed and gilded with gold leaf, and the Lady Justice statue was primed and re-gilded with 23.75 carat patent gold leaf. With regular maintenance this historic gem should last another 100 years. Tecton Architects accepted the award for this project.
Best Commercial Project was awarded to The Hartford Investment Management Company Office Renovation, in Hartford, designed by The S/L/A/M Collaborative. Best Educational Project went to the LEED Gold certified school, Fairchild Wheeler Interdistrict Multi Magnet Campus, in Bridgeport, designed by JCJ Architecture. Best Healthcare Project was awarded to Lawrence and Memorial Cancer Center, of Waterford. The NBC Sports Group building, in Stamford won the award for Best Adaptive Reuse. The designing firm was Mancini Duffy, Architect. Best Community Revitalization was awarded to Norwichtown Commons, in Norwich; project architect Phase Zero Design accepted the award. The Best Historic Project went to the Old State House Cupola renovation, in Hartford; Tecton Architects was the designer. Best Multi-family Project was awarded to the Wolcott Street Rehab; general contractor The Corporation for Independent Living accepted the award. Best Sustainable Project was GSRP – Hilltop Farm Compensatory Wetland Mitigation Site, in Suffield. Consulting environmental engineering firm Burns & McDonnell accepted the award. Best Interior Design was given to the YNHH Greenwich HospitalBendheim Cancer Center, of Greenwich. Project architect, The S/L/A/M Collaborative, accepted the award. Most Significant Transaction was awarded to Connecticut River Plaza, in Hartford.The Jones Lang LaSalle team accepted this award.