Affordable / Merit
In 1926, when the Midway School's first students were gazing wistfully out the windows, who knew they might live there someday as senior citizens? The building has been converted into 24 handicap-accessible apartments, but the classroom footprints and oversize window openings are preserved. Within each room, the architects carved out a kitchen, living room, bath, and bedroom; in some cases, they combined three classrooms into two double-bedroom units. The corridor walls were left intact. "The building still has that generous hallway that was necessary to run children up and down," says architect Steve Sherman. "It gives the project a nice scale." The judges agreed, deeming the plans "well carried out."
"A lot of people who went to the school came back and walked down the hallway," Sherman says. "They said we'd kept the character of the existing building. And now, no one gets penalized for looking out the window."