Current Projects


First Baptist Church: Home of “Robert’s Rules of Order”

Constructed in 1829, the Greek Revival style 3-story white clapboard church was an expansion of the Tiverton Baptist Church established in 1685 by Mayflower passenger, John Cooke. This iconic local landmark was rehabilitated over the course of ten years and opened in November, 2023 as the Steeple Playhouse.


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Hillman Street Firehouse

109 Hillman Street is a Romanesque Revival firehouse constructed between 1892 and 1893. It originally served as the Engine No. 5 House, one of the many neighborhood fire stations in New Bedford, and later served as the City’s Civil Defense headquarters.  The building has been vacant for years and has suffered from serious neglect and water infiltration. The building was slated for demolition by the city, however, because of the importance of the structure, WHALE stepped in to save it and are working with the city and a development partner to give it new life.


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Strand Theater and Island Park Restoration

From vaudeville to Hollywood films, the Strand Theater has witnessed an extensive array of entertainment throughout its history. WHALE is working with the Cape Verdean Association in New Bedford, Inc. on the rehabilitation of this important anchor on Acushnet Ave into a cultural community center.


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Places that Matter

In partnership with the Trust for Public Land (TPL), WHALE is creating a “greenprint” of New Bedford. A greenprint is a map of places that matter to a community, and creating one starts with community input and leads to state-of-the-art computer models and maps developed using Geographic Information System (GIS) software. The final interactive map will help New Bedford make informed decisions about how to grow while preserving the character, environment and quality of life in the city.


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Zeiterion Theatre

Built in 1923, this Classical Revival Style theatre right in the heart of  downtown, was owned by Barney Zeit and his brothers who wanted “the biggest and best theatre in New Bedford”.  Closed by the late 1970’s, WHALE led efforts to save the theatre and restore it to its former glory and role as a performing arts center. Now, nearly 40 years later, WHALE is once again involved with “the Z” as a consultant for a new massive rehabilitation project that will accommodate the space and performance needs of a modern day venue.


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18 & Union

18 & Union is a project at the entrance to New Bedford’s historic downtown core, being undertaken by LaFrance Hospitality. The project involves the substantial rehabilitation of two historic building sites; the National Club and C.E. Beckman Co. Inc. Buildings.  WHALE is serving as an historic consultant for the project, which will create housing, restaurant and retail spaces.

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