Dyer Brown & Associates

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Female, LGBTQIA+ owned

Boston | Atlanta


Adapting historic buildings for new uses, Dyer Brown adds style and sensitivity

Jul 14, '22 12:12 PM EST

Guests of luxury hotel The Langham, Boston are enjoying elegant new amenities and refreshed spaces since the venue, the 1902 former Federal Reserve building, reopened last year. Meanwhile, down in Georgia, students on Emory University’s Oxford College campus attend classes in the recently renovated, 150-year-old Humanities Hall, part of a quad listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

These re-envisioned historic structures have a key element in common: National architecture and interiors firm Dyer Brown played a part in both projects, helping each to earn recent, noteworthy high honors: a Tsongas Award from Preservation Massachusetts for The Langham, Boston, and the Excellence in Stewardship Award from Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, for Emory University Oxford College Humanities Hall. 

Accruing experience in adapting and updating historic and landmark spaces for more than 50 years, Dyer Brown regularly draws upon a broad range of talents and considerable depth of expertise, making it a nimble and versatile player in a challenging area of design and architecture, according to firm president Brent Zeigler, AIA, IIDA, CID.

“With teams based in Atlanta and Boston, we’re often working on historic and landmark structures, in a variety of roles,” says Zeigler. "For The Langham, Boston we took on the role of architect and designer for the iconic exterior including carefully modernizing entrances, helping to restore the beloved bank facade, and incorporating a bright, soaring skylight over the ballroom.”

Dyer Brown also served as architect in a collaboration with designer Richmond International, which conceived the new interiors. The architect team helped navigate the sometimes-onerous approvals process for changes to landmarks.

Inside Track
This in-depth knowledge of Boston’s byzantine building codes supports commercial property owners and managers – many with historic and landmark assets in their portfolios, and many of them longtime clients. Dyer Brown sees increasing need for accelerated, cost-effective renovations, upgrades and repositioning: Examples include the historic properties like 45 Milk Street (1906) and 10 Post Office Square (1924), where the firm has delivered facade restorations, shared space and amenity revamps, and interior office redesigns.

For Oxford College Humanities Hall, Dyer Brown shared its considerable expertise in academic facilities. Associate Maggie Mitchell, IIDA, NCIDQ, RID, led the interior design in collaboration with Smith Dalia Architects, bringing the 1874 building into the 21st century with a palette of light, bright finishes throughout the modernized classrooms and newly vibrant faculty offices.

According to Mitchell, “Everything that is beloved and iconic about the Humanities Hall has been preserved and restored. But now the inside is much more functional and sustainable, and makes the most use of the increased natural daylight.”

For interviews or additional information about Dyer Brown’s work with historic structures, please contact C.C. Sullivan.


About Dyer Brown
Recognized nationally for its award-winning portfolio of architecture and interior design projects, Dyer Brown Architects offers a fully integrated suite of professional services including high-level building owner and corporate advisory as well as 3D concept visualization. The firm’s clients range from property owner/developers and end-users to global corporations and leading regional brands in such market sectors as workplace, retail, hospitality and higher education. Known for its unwavering commitment to both design excellence and client service, Dyer Brown’s 50 professionals forge long-lasting relationships with business leaders, building owners and brokers, and institutional leaders. Dyer Brown believes that buildings and spaces -- the backdrop to our daily, shared experience -- should always be inspiring, useful and enjoyable. See the firm’s award-winning work and a detailed overview at

Brent Zeigler, AIA, IIDA, CID

Maggie Mitchell, IIDA, NCIDQ, RID