Yarn Works

Fitchburg, MA

The 100+-year-old Nockege River Mill Building, formerly home to the Fitchburg Yarn Company, is situated on 7.4-acres on the bank of the Nashua River. Spanning 182,500 square feet across three floors, the thoughtful restoration and adaptive reuse of the historic structure features 57 oversized, modern market-rate loft units. The building boasts more than 280, 8-foot by 10-foot windows, providing each unit with expansive views and an abundance of natural light. Of the total 96 units, 39 are designated as affordable. The reimagined space offers community areas, a fitness center with yoga room, and a grand central atrium gallery, featuring exposed brick, beams and columns throughout.

Due to the building’s proximity to the river, flood mitigation was central to the design solution; a concrete slab was built 27″ higher than the original wood deck, resulting in the first floor sitting above the 100-year floodplain. Additional restoration work included repointing and repairing the exterior brick envelope and chimney stack, as well as structural reinforcement to the roof.

Yarn Works is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is LEED Certifiable.



  • TYPE

    Historic Preservation | Restoration + Adaptive Reuse


  • SIZE
    182,500 sf
    Completed in 2017

    Mayor Thomas M. Menino Legacy Award
    Preservation Massachusetts

    BD+C Reconstruction Award
    Building Design + Construction

    MHC Preservation Award
    Massachusetts Historical Commission