The Connecticut Trust remembers visionary preservationist, developer, and advocate Marc S. Levine, who passed away today, October 16, 2018, after a long illness.
Marc was a lover of historic places who took often-heroic actions to bring long-neglected buildings back to life. For nearly three decades, he worked tirelessly as a developer to identify creative solutions to successfully complete projects that other developers had written off. His work affected more than just the individual buildings: he also inspired entire communities to reinvest in themselves and in their historic assets.
One of the places where Marc had a significant impact was in downtown Hartford. In 1998, he opened ArtSpace, creating 46 units of moderate-income artist housing after completely rehabilitating a derelict office building. Ten years later, with his friend and fellow preservation-minded developer Phil Schonberger, Marc rehabilitated the Sage-Allen building for residential and hotel uses. Connecticut Trust Circuit Rider Brad Schide, pictured above right with Marc at his Vernon project, remembers the reaction: “The preservation community was ecstatic over the saving of the façade of Sage Allen – and the successful launch of this seemingly impossible project.” (The project won a 2008 Connecticut Preservation Award from the Trust.) More importantly, the success of these projects sparked confidence and investment in housing in Hartford’s downtown, which has seen thousands of apartment units develop since Marc’s initial investments.
More recently, Marc worked with fellow developer Joseph Vallone on the Loom City Lofts project, rehabilitating a nineteenth-century mill building (listed on our Making Places Survey), which the Town of Vernon had proposed demolishing. They worked for over a decade through a tangle of legal and environmental issues, creating 68 apartments, primarily affordable rentals. This project – beautifully designed and executed – also won a 2017 Connecticut Preservation Award and other awards.
By his side for many of his significant projects was his wife, Tamara Kagan Levine. We offer our condolences to Tammy, as well as Marc’s extended family and friends. For more information about arrangements, click here.