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North Adams Former Railyard

Heritage State Park Redevelopment


North Adams MA

Project type

Urban Design & Planning



Project Overview

As a contracted house doctor consultant with MassDevelopment, DREAM Collaborative was asked to explore re-programming and activation opportunities for Heritage State Park in North Adams MA. In this land use study, our team proposed a more organic approach to developing the former railyard through a three-phased sustainable growth pattern. We created minimum, medium and maximum intervention options for each of the six vacant buildings at the Park to preserve their historic nature and to better divide and manage redevelopment.

DREAM’s goal was to provide planning options to better connect the site to its community. With its proximity to attractions such as MASS MoCA and local hiking and biking trails, Heritage State Park can extend the arts culture of the area. DREAM’s Strategic Plan envisions local artisans renting maker, vendor and studio spaces for activation without intervention, while the site grows to include retail, offices, restaurants, a daycare, cafe, brewery, fitness and coworking opportunities. Our team also identified outdoor programming solutions for greater landscape and plaza activation including marathon integration, outdoor yoga and farmer’s markets. Since the park is visible from pedestrian and transit spaces, we envisioned Enhanced vegetation and planters as well as a plaza canopy for both brand identity and user comfort.

Through restoration and reuse, DREAM created a strategic plan for the Heritage State Park to rehabilitate, brand, market and activate the site for local connections, preservation, arts and culture integration and new partnerships and revenue streams.

Key Features

  • Strategic Redevelopment Plan
  • Sustainable Growth Development
  • Arts & Community-focused Programming
  • Activation Opportunities