The preservation and transformation of this historic 1880s mill has enlivened the local community and instilled new life in an almost forgotten regional landmark. It now stands as a vibrant, multi-use complex whose rich history is expressed through the architectural revitalization of the spaces.
One of the first mills to run on its own hydroelectric power, the Hawley Silk Mill is a unique and prominent landmark of Northeastern Pennsylvania. In 2009, the mill was purchased by a local investment group, who had a vision of restoring the historic structure and reasserting its importance.
The redesign utilizes large arched windows to bring light deep into the new spaces, which include retail shops and a fitness center laced among the steel columns on the first floor, office suites on the second floor, and a multi-use space occupied by a community college on the third floor. The neighboring Cocoon Building, once a windowless space that stored the silk for the mill, is now a café that is flooded with natural light through skylights.
Bohlin Cywinski Jackson worked carefully with the investment group to create a visual dialogue between old and new. Together, it was decided that all significant materials would be re-used as a way to respect the environment and to recount the building’s history through its materials. The mill’s oil-stained maple floors have been restored, while wood trusses have been repurposed as interior siding and millwork. In addition, solar panels have been installed as a reminder of the sustainable energy once generated from the Paupack Falls.