Multifamily Spotlight: Chronicle Mill

Constructed in 1901, Chronicle Mill was the first textile mill in Belmont, N.C., that eventually was abandoned in 2010. When it was finally targeted for reuse as a multifamily building, an insurmountable list of hurdles nearly throttled the project.

The site contained some problems, mainly the structure being a conglomeration of tacked-on ancillary spaces overrun with decay. To make workable unit depths, the first and last structural bays of the newer sections were removed while a fourth level was added onto the roof. Remnant sections of the existing facade were preserved to signify where the mill once stood. The new facade is a modern interpretation of the mill that retains the simple rhythm of the existing facade’s fenestration and sloped roofline without being an exact replica.

The interior design concept pays homage to the original purpose of the mill. Design elements such as the handwoven art panels and rope ceiling in the clubhouse represent obvious ties to the textile industry. Many FF&E pieces feature salvaged and repurposed items from the original mill. The newly developed retail, F+B space and large outdoor gathering areas encourage the public to take part in reclaiming Chronicle Mill as the social hub of Belmont.

Architect/Designer | BB+M Architecture
Builder | Armada Hoffler Construction
Developer | Armada Hoffler
Landscape Architect/Designer | Site Solutions, LLC
Interior Designer | BB+M Architecture
Interior Merchandiser | BB+M Architecture
Photographer | Tim Buchman | Easterday Creative

Judges’ Comments | This transformation highlights a remarkable recovery. The before pictures show a blown out, dead building. And even though they may not have been able to use everything, they paid homage to what was there initially and recreated it in a way that it’s not overly different. The tie-in to the textile history is evident—really elegant and well done. And the interiors are colorful and rich, providing such a soft balance against the harsh industrial elements. 

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