Rice Building
Rice Building
Troy, New York
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

In 1998 this rare Moorish/Victorian style building in downtown Troy was so deteriorated that the city was on the verge of demolishing it.  Originally built as a six-story office building in 1871, The Rice Building was damaged in a serious fire in 1916. The 6th floor and three spires were completed destroyed. During the 1980s the building had been foreclosed for taxes and subsequently sat vacant for over twelve years. Pieces of masonry were detaching from the structure and falling to the street.

In the late 1990s the building was acquired by a consortium of preservation-minded organizations including RPI, Troy Savings Bank and TAP, who commissioned its redevelopment for use as an incubator for new technology-oriented businesses.

The interior was reconfigured to accommodate contemporary office needs while preserving many historic features. Since the future tenants would be making intensive use of computers and data facilities, extensive flexible vertical and horizontal wireways were incorporated to enable the use of the latest technology. The exterior was restored to its five-story 1916 post fire appearance.

The restoration was certified by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation and received a New York State Historic Preservation award in 2000.

The human side of architecture