The American Institute of Architects 2016 Design for Aging Review presented The Hearth at Drexel with a special recognition award for completion of a renovation that demonstrates “an excellent adaptation of an older, yet historic structure” that maintains the integrity of a “neighborhood feel with residential character.”

Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, the distinguished Design for Aging Review celebrates bold vision for design in senior living communities, and assisted living and skilled nursing facilities.

Tuscan Household Residential-Style Cook-to-Order Kitchen

The Hearth, one of only 29 awardees in this most recent competition, was selected by a jury that included three architects, an interior designer, and two leaders in aging services. “The jury quickly came to a consensus on how to define a winning submission—there had to be something unique about each project, one thing that jumped out as extraordinary. It was not enough for the projects to look enticing, or function well, there had to be either something new that was attempted or an extreme obstacle that was overcome in a creative way,” says architect and gerontologist Alexis Denton, who chaired the jury.

One of The Hearth’s beautiful covered porches.

At approximately 276,000 square feet, the century-old property of The Hearth was renovated to encompass four intimate households, each with a hearth living room, dining room, residential-style cook-to-order kitchen, access to covered outdoor space, and a spa and beauty salon.

The jury panel appreciated that the flow and scale of each household reinforces the independence and individuality of each resident. Additionally, the residential-style kitchen in each household provides residents with increased dining options, as well as the autonomy to serve themselves beverages and snacks at any time. And, finally, each household is served by consistent, dedicated staff members who are able to anticipate each resident’s needs.

“LeadingAge, an association dedicated to shaping the future of quality housing and services for older Americans, applauds those colleagues recognized for these award-winning environments with new models of service delivery and innovative ways of connecting services and supports,” says Katie Smith Sloan, President and CEO of LeadingAge.

For more information about The Hearth, visit

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