However, during the Great Depression, maintaining the cemetery and the headstones suffered because of scant funding. The city decided to cut the tombstones in half and lay the top halves, which were engraved with the soldiers’ details, on the ground so they no longer stood erect. These makeshift flat graves saved money on mowing and maintenance costs. The bottom halves of 2,200 slain tombstones were then sold for the princely sum of $45. Their new owner, Oswald Young, used them to build his house, chimney, and walkway…
Starting at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14, Camp Okoboji will be auctioning off its Crafts building in order to make room for the new DISCOVER Activity Center.
The goal is to recycle, reclaim and repurpose as much of the Crafts building as possible. It has many old windows and doors, benches, work tables, wood flooring, tongue and grove siding and paneling, exhaust fans, bathroom fixtures, etc.
In 1864, the church became the first black church in town and remained a center of religious activity for the local black community until it was removed from active use in 1994.
The Town Council and staff are very interested in the community’s ideas about how this wonderful structure might be used to the benefit of the town.
“We are proud of this project and the role that is has played in the ongoing urban revitalization of downtown Roanoke,” said Burt Pinnock, AIA, principal. “When considered as a whole, the success of West Station makes a strong argument for how long-term engagement and quality design can bring new life to our historic neighborhoods.”
The Lofts were part of a grander revitalization effort spearheaded by developer Bill Chapman of Bill Chapman Enterprises to reclaim and rebrand the neighborhood of West Station. Adjacent to a large rail yard, the area had fallen into disrepair, but both Chapman and Baskervill saw potential.
“We took a two-step approach,” Chapman said. “First, we created a downtown district with a new name to convey the idea of change, and then we built high quality, design-centric space that clearly showed that change was happening. We designed and installed street banners then built The Lofts at West Station. We were 100 percent occupied in 90 days and have stayed that way ever since. The project has been a resounding success and a catalyst for further investment in the neighborhood.”
“This is a restoration, renovation and expansion of the existing historic theater,” Lekometros says. “It’s a historic tax credit project. The theater building is the star of the show, so to speak. The building is very dramatic. It sits in a place where the fabric of the neighborhood is a very important part of Church Hill and we are trying to find a new vitality for it.”
The project will include a blend of commercial space on the street level and rental apartments above the retail space.
The second site, called the Nolde Garage project, will include over 6,000 square feet of retail space with frontage on 24th Street and Patrick Henry Park. Additionally, it will include 16,000 square feet of residential apartments, split between a renovation of the historic Nolde Garage, and the ground up construction of townhouses.
“This was an old stable building that became a garage. The mindset we are bringing is about salvaging the building on the property and expanding it on the same level,” Lekometros says. “The need for housing at different levels does exist and there’s an appropriateness to the project given the rebirth of the neighborhood.”
(Denice Thibodeau/Register & Bee)
Charles Pierce, who is overseeing the deconstruction of the buildings at the Schoolfield Mill site, walks through rows of timbers and piles of wood taken out of the No. 3 Dress building so far. That building is in the background, and work has begun at the right end of the building; they will take out that end of the building first, then the center 5-story section, and finally the left end of the building.
“These workers are specialists in salvage and they are doing their work environmentally at the same time,” Moneyhun said. “Our contract with them is tearing down the building to property level in exchange for the materials that are in there. You have handmade brick, lumber and steel products that are still salvageable and very valuable.”