Historic Preservation

Golden Belt before renovation


Golden Belt after renovation


  What is old is new

Scientific Properties is committed to the retention, rehabilitation, and reuse of historic properties, which the firm believes play a pivotal role in sustainable development. Our downtowns are filled with well-designed buildings that have stood the test of time and make a positive contribution to the city’s streetscapes and to the quality of life of its citizens.

From the beginning, Scientific Properties has been involved in historic renovation, adaptive reuse projects in downtown Durham. Instead of tearing down and rebuilding, Scientific Properties is focused on recycling architectural gems into usable, livable, workable spaces for the community. Re-use saves far more greenhouse gases than new construction and retains essential elements of the community’s historic fabric.

Perhaps most striking among Scientific Properties’ undertakings to date is the revitalization of Golden Belt, a LEED-Gold certified re-use development.  Formerly a brownfields site and home to the Golden Belt Manufacturing Company, the 155,000 square foot, seven acre campus in downtown Durham is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and includes 6 architecturally-significant buildings that house live/work residential lofts, artist studios, a central gallery, and office, retail and entertainment spaces. Scientific Properties has breathed life into Golden Belt in a manner that honors its history and architecture and reaffirms the spirit of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship that is its greatest legacy.

In 2008, Andy Rothschild and Scientific Properties were honored with Preservation North Carolina's top business award--the L. Vincent Lowe Jr. Business Award--for our work in promoting and protecting architectural resources.  Click here to read more about this statewide preservation award.  Venable Center was honored with Preservation Durham's 2008 Pyne Preservation Award.  For more on this honor, click here.