The abandoned Harding/Court Junior High School building, located in the Borough of Carnegie, was rehabilitated and transformed into Carnegie Retirement Residence. The school was originally built in 1926 but closed its doors in 1974. In September 1995, the building opened its doors as a residence, offering 59 units of affordable housing for senior citizens who wish to live independently without the responsibility of home ownership.
Great attention was paid in order to maintain the building’s architectural integrity while transforming difficult area’s into useable space. In order to accommodate for the building’s “donut-like” shape adjustments had to be made. The original light well was converted into and open air courtyard, while the sky lit multi-purpose room was once the gymnasium/auditorium. The character of the original building was maintained within the design of the windows. The old world charm of the building was enhanced by using the classroom doors for residence doors.
The units are equipped with a bathroom, kitchen, air conditioning and an emergency call system. The building’s amenities include front door intercom system, activity room, craft room, wellness center, library, commercial kitchen with 2 dining rooms, interior landscaped courtyard and an exterior garden with gazebo. This residence provides supportive services that enable independent living for seniors over age 62.
In 1996 Carnegie Retirement Residence was awarded the Best of Seniors Housing Award. It has received national acclaim as a “facility where seniors of limited means may live without feeling they are being warehoused.”
Effort was put forth in protecting the environment by using green strategies in the building. Demolition materials were disposed of on site in an abandoned swimming pool, low v.o.c. materials were used and cardboard was recycled. The use of the green design in a recycling world made this community a viable, concerted effort.
The creation has had a truly beneficial impact on the surrounding neighborhood by transforming a decaying and vacant building into an attractive community resource, while offering an affordable alternative for the elderly individual. All of these features make Carnegie Retirement Residence “More Than Just a Place to Live”.
Location: 200 Railroad Avenue, Carnegie PA 15106