Nonprofit Restores 1924 Mansion

On June 19, more than 1,000 people attended the reopening of the 1924 McCormick-Goodhart Mansion in Langley Park, Md., now CASA de Maryland's Multicultural Center.

"We are very excited," says Gustavo Torres, executive director of CASA de Maryland, a nonprofit that assists immigrants. "Our goal is not just to have a beautiful building but to effect change in Langley Park," he says. "We are very lucky that we are exactly where we want to be."

(Not everyone was celebrating, however: At the ceremony, more than 20 people from the anti-illegal immigration group Help Save Maryland protested the renovation, funded by federal and state dollars.)

Designed by George Oakley Totten, the Georgian Revival mansion was once the center of a 565-acre estate. Now surrounded by low-income housing, the deteriorating structure had been vacant for a decade when its owner, Sawyer Realty, donated it to the nonprofit in 2008.

Architect Ward Bucher, who led the project's design team, says the McCormick-Goodhart Mansion was in deplorable shape.

"I've been doing this for 40 years, and it was in one of the worst conditions I've ever seen," Bucher says. "Every time it rained, the rain would come into every room."

During the 18-month project, workers restored the exterior and elements of the interior, including plaster ceiling ornamentation and decorative trim. A crew installed a green roof and added a geothermal heating and cooling system.

"It's a great outcome," says John Leith-Tetrault, president of the National Trust Community Investment Corporation, which brokered the tax-credit deal for the $13.8 million project. (Bank of America and Enterprise Foundation provided Historic Tax Credit and New Market Tax Credit equity.) Leith-Tetrault, who served as a member of the nonprofit's fundraising committee, says he admires CASA de Maryland's emphasis on creating a sustainable building. "It's an ambitious rehab for a nonprofit because the renewable energy work was expensive."

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