Just a block south from the waterfalls, the former Foster’s Daily Democrat newspaper plant is becoming mostly apartments. The newspaper office and printing press moved out to an industrial park a few years ago, leaving the triangular site vacant. One side is on busy Central Avenue, where the original building sprawled out onto some curious additions. The other side, on Henry Law Drive, was an uninviting cement-block wall, which in effect turned its back on the neighbors.
That backside is being opened up with doors and windows facing Henry Law Park and the river itself.
For added excitement, the park now includes a state-of-the-art playground as well as the New Hampshire Children’s Museum and a band shell for summer concerts.
In becoming Foster Place, the redesign includes new construction atop the old, rambling building. I’m curious to see how it plays out.
The repurposing has a parallel in my novel What’s Left, where Cassia’s family transforms a nondescript building into their expanded restaurant complex. I didn’t picture hers quite like this, but opening the wall and building more on top are part of the story. Much of the new design hinges on windows and doors carved out of the earlier walls.