Worcester Project Wins Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award

Courthouse Lofts

Worcester, MA – The Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Terwilliger Center for Housing announced that Courthouse Lofts in Worcester is a recipient of the Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing award.

The Jack Kemp Award recognizes developments that use innovative financing sources to provide attainable mixed-income housing, primarily focusing on households earning greater than 60% of area median income. Courthouse Lofts is one of three national award recipients.

Common space

An example of a public/private partnership, the Courthouse Lofts project transformed the historic Old Worcester County Courthouse into 118 units of housing for families at five different income levels and features unique architecture and living and common spaces. The project also includes the Major Taylor Museum, which honors the life and legacy of Marshall “Major” Taylor, the first African American world champion in professional cycling and one of the first African American champions of any sport.

Located at 2 Main Street, the redevelopment of the courthouse is part of a larger revitalization of the historic Lincoln Square district, which sits just north of downtown Worcester and the city center. The design team created new, character-rich apartments while preserving the building’s most impressive public spaces. These spaces include two of the grandest historic courtrooms that have been converted into amenity spaces, as well as the main entry hall of the building that features marble columns and curving stone staircases.

“This creative, adaptive reuse of a historic anchor building in the heart of Worcester has created attractive, affordable homes for city residents,” said executive director of ULI Boston/New England, Michelle Landers. “Properties like Courthouse Lofts align with the importance of our work here at ULI, where our mission is to shape the future of the built environment for transformative impact in communities worldwide.”

In addition to earning the Jack Kemp Award from ULI, Trinity Financial and Courthouse Lofts have been recognized by Preservation Massachusetts with the Paul and Niki Tsongas Award for the highest level of commitment to historic preservation; and by the Worcester Chamber of Commerce for being a “game changer” by contributing to a more diverse workforce and creating opportunity for people of color on the project.

Other properties named recipients of the Jack Kemp Award were Orenda in Seattle, Wash. and The Cottages on Vaughan, in Clarkston, Ga.

To learn more about this year’s Terwilliger Center for Housing awards, visit