Helping Hands Training Facility; Boston, MA

Vanecko, Ltd. was the architect for a one-of-a-kind facility for housing and training monkey-helpers for the disabled.

  1. Work included obtaining a Special Permit from the City for the facility, involving the Boston Landmarks Commission, the Brighton Allston Civic Association, the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the Inspectional Services Department, the Boston Fire Department, the Department of Public Works, and the Water & Sewer Commission.

  2. The design intent was to restore the general appearance of an original 1861 Universalist Church, increase the square footage, provide completely new finishes throughout, and meet the very demanding facility requirements of the Helping Hands organization.

  3. The existing structure was completely gutted, with only the original stone foundation and wood structural framing remaining, the original 5,400 s.f. building was increased in size to 9,000 s.f.

  4. The existing rear chancel of the old church was removed for an addition; framing for a new second floor was added within the original two-story main volume, with new windows, doors, cabinetry, interior and exterior finishes.

  5. An elevator was installed, and new egress stairs were provided at the front and rear of the building.

  6. A sophisticated HVAC system was designed to meet the requirements of the animal housing areas; a complex security & alarm system, new gas service, 3 phase electric service, a sprinkler system, and a 1,000 KW emergency generator were provided.

Photos: Helping Hands and Vanecko, Ltd.

Vanecko, Ltd. |  227 Charlie Hill Road  |   Millerton, NY 12546   |   Tel: 617-512-2488

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