Colman Yards


  • Architecture
  • Interior Design


  • Active Projects
  • Housing
  • Historic/Reuse

Rockford, IL


introducing Colman Yards: a reimagined mixed-use campus, built on a century of innovation

GWA Dots

The historic Barber-Colman campus along Rockford’s South Main corridor is synonymous with American ingenuity and manufacturing excellence.  Its founder, Howard Colman, established nearly 150 industrial patents and grew the company into a multi-national corporation with several divisions.  After nearly four decades of neglect, the campus will be reinvented as Colman Yards: A 23-acre, 10-building complex consisting of renovated and new construction residential apartments as well as commercial and retail space.

Building 5 comes alive, once again

Studio GWA is thrilled to provide architectural design services for ‘Building 5‘ of Colman Yards, a 161,000 square foot building that is a defining feature along the South Main Street corridor.  Originally designed as manufacturing and office space which included Mr. Colman’s library and office, Building 5 will be redeveloped into 181 residential units.  Heavy concrete columns, wood block flooring, and steel windows are among the many features to be found in spaces throughout Building 5 once finished.

a sprawling historic complex in the heart of the Water Power District

Studio GWA is excited to be working alongside many great partners for this campus-wide, mixed-use endeavor including:

  1. J. Jeffers & Company (Master Developer)
  2. Space Architects + Planners (Master Planning, Architects for Buildings 4 and 9)
  3. Fehr Graham (Environmental, Civil)
  4. IMEG (MEP, Building 5) 
  5. CG Schmidt (Construction)

With planning approaching completion, Phase 1 construction will begin in 2023.

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