Theses (Historic Preservation)


Yujia Zhang

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Adaptive re-use is a solution to avoiding the obsolescence of buildings in urban development. It is beneficial for the city, for the culture, for the environment, and for the building itself. Recently in the United States, historical office buildings converted into apartments have demonstrated a way to extend the life of these buildings. This thesis aims to analyze 20-century office buildings in New York City converted to apartments in order to examine the possibility of this kind of adaptive-reuse solution for historic office buildings in China. It investigates the history, policy, and design of adaptive-reuse of 20th-Century New York City office building into residential apartments for 21th-century living. It analyzes three cases to understand the requirements for a successful building transformation and speculates about future potential for adaptive re-use of modern office buildings. In addition, it identifies reasons why modern Chinese cities lack similar conversion projects and speculates on whether Chinese cities are suitable for adaptive re-use strategies like those developed in the United States.


adaptive re-use, office building, apartment, financial district, Wall Street historic district



Date Posted: 06 August 2020