May 20, 2019

Centerbrook Architects Receive Essex Historical Society’s Annual Preservation Award

Essex Historical Society President Sherry Clark, left, and Director Melissa Josefiak GIVE Preservation Award to Centerbrook.

Essex Historical Society (EHS) President Sherry Clark (second from left) presents Chad Floyd and Jim Childress from Centerbrook Architects with the EHS Annual Preservation Award. Also present at the ceremony was EHS Director Melissa Josefiak.


ESSEX — The Essex Historical Society recently presented Centerbrook Architects with its Annual Preservation Award for its long-term commitment to restoring and preserving its offices at 67 Main St. in Centerbrook, a village within the town of Essex. The brick building that forms the core of the firm’s offices was built in 1893, and along with several ancillary wooden structures served as a factory that fashioned drill bits until 1969.

The architects moved in the next year and proceeded to clean house, replacing large machinery driven by antiquated belts and pulleys with collaborative office spaces to produce contemporary building designs. Waterpower from the historic dam and sluiceway on the Falls River was repurposed to generate electricity. The dam has been in place and making power since the late 1600s.

Initially, the firm rented out portions of its building to retail businesses, but as the practice grew it eventually occupied all of the available space. The great flood of 1982 set back restoration efforts: destroying several of the wooden structures closest to the river. But the firm rebuilt, elevating the buildings on piles to withstand the next inevitable flood.

Essex Historical Society President Sharon Clark presented the award to Centerbrook Partner Chad Floyd as ceremonies at the organization’s Pratt House Museum ( on West Ave. in Essex.

“Thanks to a month-long voting poll from the general public, the Essex Historical Society is very pleased to present Centerbrook Architects with our Annual Preservation Award,” said Melissa Josefiak, Director of the Society. “Their marvelous sensitivity to historic preservation and sustainable building practices makes them a leader in their field as well as an incredible asset and historic resource for the community.” Past winners have included the Ivoryton Playhouse and the Centerbrook Meeting House.

For more information on the historic building of Centerbrook Architects, visit: