Tag Archives: historic building

Firehouse relics salvaged | Denton Record Chronicle | News for Denton County, Texas

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Denton firefighters remove corner guards from the old fire station on Avenue B on Tuesday. The long-vacant building near the University of North Texas is scheduled to be demolished, along with the former sites of Sukhothai II and The Treehouse Bar & Grill, shown in background, to make way for a new CVS Pharmacy.

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via Firehouse relics salvaged | Denton Record Chronicle | News for Denton County, Texas.

Steinert Hall, the most famous subterranean theater you’ve never heard of – Music – The Boston Globe

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“It’s where old pianos come to die,” said building manager Colman McDonagh with a weary smile as he stepped around assorted obstacles while conducting the tour.

Yet there is much fading grandeur to take in, too, visual reminders of what a magnificent space Steinert Hall must have been, tucked 35 feet below one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares, when Boston was burnishing its credentials as a world-class city for live music.

Structurally, the elliptically shaped concert hall remains surprisingly intact, its fluted Corinthian pilasters separating what were once proscenium boxes reserved for well-heeled patrons. On either side of the small stage, at balcony level, wall panels bear the names of Schumann, Beethoven, Haydn, Bach, Mozart, and Schubert.

The 650 seats are long gone, donated years ago to Boston College High School. Still visible in the floorboards, though, are ventilation holes where heat was once pumped from a massive fan. Other touches, like an original leather-faced door and 1915 Greek-themed wall mural, possibly painted by muralist Charles Avery Aiken (it’s signed “C.A. Aiken”), have been preserved as well.

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via Steinert Hall, the most famous subterranean theater you’ve never heard of – Music – The Boston Globe.

Landmark Woodbury theater revived as apartments

Woodbury unveils the restored GG Green Building, a 133-year-old structure that was considered for demolition just two years ago. Once a theater, developers have turned it into a mixed-use residential building in Woodbury. This is a photo of the building on December 11, 2013.  (ELIZABETH ROBERTSON/Staff Photographer)

Woodbury unveils the restored GG Green Building, a 133-year-old structure that was considered for demolition just two years ago. Once a theater, developers have turned it into a mixed-use residential building in Woodbury. This is a photo of the building on December 11, 2013. (ELIZABETH ROBERTSON/Staff Photographer)

via Landmark Woodbury theater revived as apartments.

Russell Brand buys a character-filled home in Hollywood Hills West – Hartford Courant

Good character.

(Both the man and his home)

Russell Brand

Russell Brand — he of the off-color humor and wild-eyed visage — has bought a character-filled home in Hollywood Hills West for $2.224 million.

The restored 1926 traditional-style house was designed by Roy Selden Price, an architect known for his period revival work.

Russell%20Brand%20%u2014%20he%20of%20the%20off-color%20humor%20and%20wild-eyed%20visage%20%u2014%20has%20bought%20a%20character-filled%20home%20in%20Hollywood%20Hills%20West%20for%20%242.224%20million.%20%28MLS%29via Russell Brand buys a character-filled home in Hollywood Hills West – Hartford Courant.

How to bring a new look to Valley communities: recycle historic structures | Wrangler News

The onetime Monroe Elementary School has been transformed into a reborn Children’s Museum. Nearby, along Grand Avenue, a surge of development is yielding new destinations out of long-forgotten structures, which are showcased on a self-guided, adaptive-reuse tour sponsored by the Grand Avenue Arts and Small Business District.

Adaptive reuse is also a way to save a unique or historic building that might otherwise be demolished. The practice benefits the environment by conserving natural resources and minimizing the need for new materials.

In Phoenix, city planners established a program in 2008 that encourages adaptive re-use of buildings that are structurally sound but no longer economically viable in their current condition.

via How to bring a new look to Valley communities: recycle historic structures | Wrangler News.

New life for weathered Duluth building | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota

It wasn’t until after the couple bought the two-story, 3,740-square-foot structure that they learned it had been the Duluth Weather Bureau building from 1904 to 1950. They also learned the Incline Railway tramway had run along the 400-foot-long property on its way up the hill to a grand pavilion that burned a few years before the weather bureau building was built.

“That history just made it more exciting,” said Teri Gunnarson, a physician for Essentia Health.

The Gunnarsons have embraced that history, meticulously reusing bricks and wood flooring removed during demolition and bringing in other reclaimed materials to add character to what is now a modern, cutting-edge home with geothermal and solar energy systems.

via New life for weathered Duluth building | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota.

Portland Architecture: Two handsome old downtown buildings, but only one may survive

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But while the Cornelius admittedly has its troubles, with fire and water damage helping to deliver a dreaded “U” sign in its windows marking it as unsafe amidst numerous code violations, demolishing it would be a further blight on this developer’s record.

Moyer once was part of an effort to connect the North and South Park Blocks, which would have created one long strip of downtown green space, comparable to Barcelona’s Las Ramblas, but also would have knocked down several historic buildings in its path. It’s as if TMT is trying to rekindle that defeated effort by single-handedly demolishing the historic architecture of Park Avenue.

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Culver Building (photo by Brian Libby)

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via Portland Architecture: Two handsome old downtown buildings, but only one may survive.

Cornerstone of Nashville Riverfront Master Plan Showcases Sustainable Adaptive Reuse

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When Nashville built its new stadium for the Tennessee Titans, the former headquarters of the Nashville Bridge Company were spared demolition. Built in 1908, with additions made to the 5,000 square foot building in 1924 and 1965, the compound was modernized by Hastings Architecture Associates as part of the Nashville Riverfront Master Plan. Renovations were recently completed, including a newly-built modern wing, and has been re-dubbed The Bridge Building.

The adaptive reuse required significant modifications to reflect sustainability concerns, which have resulted in a 46 percent decrease in annual energy costs, including solar hot water, a ground source heat pump, automated electrical monitoring, LED illumination, and smart operable windows.

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via Cornerstone of Nashville Riverfront Master Plan Showcases Sustainable Adaptive Reuse.

Maio Studio Turns Former Wash House into Co-working Space (Photos) : TreeHugger

Renovating an old building can be quite a challenge, not only structurally. The skill lies in adapting the spaces to our current needs while at the same time conserving the history and stories round it. Anna Puigjaner and Guillermo Lopez, members of MAIO, have managed to do so with an old wash house in Barcelona. It is now an open studio for creative professionals.

via Maio Studio Turns Former Wash House into Co-working Space (Photos) : TreeHugger.

‘King of trash’ taking on buildings in Dalton | The Fergus Falls Daily Journal

Darla Ellingson/Daily Journal Greg Peterson has refurbished the Dalton Opera House and is working on three more buildings on Summit street in Dalton.

“I’ve been in trash all my life,” said Peterson with a smile.

Peterson’s dad owned a garbage service in the cities, and that’s where his interest in ‘picking’ treasures grew. After moving to Fergus Falls, Peterson’s collections continued to accumulate while owning the Chopping Block antique store, the Cabinet Connection, and Big Red Boxes which handled mostly construction debris.

He also worked at the OTC Sherrif’s Department and Valley Lake Treatment Center for many years.

Peterson has done most of the structural and cosmetic work himself on the building he has named “The Dalton Opera House.” Originally a multi-use town hall, he picked up the 1902 building for a song.

“I’ll buy anything that’s cheap,” said Peterson, while explaining that he has been working on the Opera House, the adjacent creamery building and two other buildings to the rear of the property in his spare time- with recycled materials of course.

“I just hate to throw anything usable away,” said Peterson.

With humor he tells a story of Jesus being the first recycler.

“You know the story from the bible of the miracle of the five loaves and five fishes, where Jesus is able to feed 5,000 people?” Peterson asks. “Jesus says gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.”

Read this wonderful article via ‘King of trash’ taking on buildings in Dalton | The Fergus Falls Daily Journal.

Armour building in Alexandria razed as restoration costs deemed too high | The Town Talk | thetowntalk.com

The Armour building at 1901 Third St. in downtown Alexandria is being torn down. Local preservationists say the building was significant because it was one of the last surviving buildings in Central Louisiana whose existence was dependent on rail transportation.

The Armour building at 1901 Third St. in downtown Alexandria is being torn down. Local preservationists say the building was significant because it was one of the last surviving buildings in Central Louisiana whose existence was dependent on rail transportation.

The Armour building, at 1901 Third St., was built circa 1910 as a meat processing plant. It is significant, local preservationists say, because it is one of the last surviving buildings in Central Louisiana whose existence was dependent on rail transportation, and because its architectural embellishments made it quite ornate for a warehouse at that time.

via Armour building in Alexandria razed as restoration costs deemed too high | The Town Talk | thetowntalk.com.

Neighbors, owner tangle over deconstruction at historic Detroit home | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

The area around the Van Dyke Place mansion at 649 Van Dyke in the historic West Village district of Detroit has been blocked off after a dispute over scrapping. The home's new owner says it was restoration work; neighbors say they aren't convinced.

Residents of West Village in Detroit sprang into action this week when two men appeared to be scrapping the architectural features off one of the historic neighborhood’s most famous mansions.

City officials said the homeowner had not secured the proper permits nor gone through the requirements involving historic homes to do work on the former Van Dyke Place Restaurant.

On Wednesday night, Detroit police arrested and later released the men working on the house, from T&T Construction in Findlay, Ohio, as they investigated neighbors’ complaints.

The former Van Dyke Place, a 10,000-square-foot building, was built about 100 years ago by the man whose overalls eventually would anchor the Carhartt brand of work clothes.

Residents said the workers pulled doors off their hinges, carefully disassembled a limestone balustrade and cut a massive limestone façade out of three layers of brick above the door. But in their historic neighborhood, such deconstruction requires permit after permit, with public hearings and community approval. By about 7 p.m. Wednesday, 20 residents gathered at the house and demanded to know what the men were doing.

“The intention was to strip the house,” said architect Brian Hurttienne, executive director of the Villages Community Development Corp., a neighborhood organization. “It undermines everything that community really is.”

Michael Mallett said he owns the house and commissioned the work — but said he was simply trying to stem water leaks. He said he bought the foreclosed house for $115,000 cash in May.

Mallett, who said he has rebuilt old homes before, said his workers removed the façade to get better access to the doors because they were rusted through. Mallett, also from Ohio, said he didn’t think he needed permits to attack the water leaks. On Thursday, he said he was talking with the city about the proper permits.

“I don’t think everyone understood what we were doing,” he said. “We’re trying to diffuse the situation as best we can.”

But neighbors and some city officials expressed skepticism at the explanation.

They said Mallett’s crew has been working for about three weeks on the house, mostly on the inside. On Wednesday night, when the residents arrived, they said the previous owner of the house — who lives next door and still has keys to the fence lock — told police they couldn’t enter without a warrant.

By Thursday afternoon, the former owner, real estate lawyer Rod Strickland, was representing Mallett. Mallett said they had never met before Wednesday night.

According to county tax records, Strickland bought the mansion for $500,000 in 2001 and lost it to foreclosure in 2011. He said he thinks his neighbors overreacted, and the two men were unfairly arrested. He would not allow the Free Press inside the gates.

“They failed to have it permitted,” Strickland said of the workers. “They stopped and agreed to go home.”

Hurttienne said architectural features — such as façades — are extremely difficult to replace once they are removed. He estimated the value of what was pulled off the Van Dyke house in excess of $100,000.

Continue reading Neighbors, owner tangle over deconstruction at historic Detroit home | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

Green Plans For Disney Studios

This mural (painted by Alexander Austin) at 31st and Troost includes images of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse.
Laura Spencer / KCUR

In the early 1920s, when Walt Disney was in his early 20s, he was heading up a struggling animation studio on Kansas City’s east side. A small field mouse became his pet, lived in a drawer in his office, and shared his food. That mouse would later provide the inspiration for Mickey Mouse. Disney’s studio, where early animators cut their teeth making black-and-white silent cartoons, is still struggling. There are now plans for a green future.

Paying Tribute in Missouri

Walt Disney was born in Chicago. But he spent much of his childhood in Missouri, firstMarceline (about 125 miles northeast of Kansas City), and then Kansas City. Disney was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians in 1993. And Butch Rigby – a film buff and founder of Screenland Theatres – recalls a conversation from that time with a Kansas City radio DJ, John Hart.

“And he (Hart) said, ‘Hey, there is not one single place in Kansas City that reflects the fact that one of the most famous people in the world came from here, worked here, started here,'” says Rigby.

At first, the idea was to build a statue in honor of Walt Disney. Then there were talks about a possible Disney Museum in Union Station. But those ideas fizzled out. Today, plans are still in development to re-open Disney’s Laugh-O-Gram studios, just east of Troost.

Laugh-O-Gram Studio: A Training Ground for Animators       

Butch Rigby stands outside the two-story red-brick building at the corner of 31st and Forest. “This is still just a small 10,000 foot building,” says Rigby. “And it’s not a giant museum project like people want to imagine. It is, however, equally as important.”

The second floor of the McConhahay Building housed the first cartoon studio owned by Walt Disney. It was a training ground for pioneering animators like Ub IwerksHugh Harman and Rudolph Ising. But Disney was not known for his financial prowess, and the company filed for bankruptcy in July 1923. Disney then moved to Hollywood, California with an unfinished “Alice’s Wonderland.”

“What’s significant is that some of those kids would follow Walt (Disney) and Ub (Iwerks) out to California and they would literally found 20th century cartoon animation for the movies,” says Rigby.

“Ub Iwerks was the prolific genius artist who would draw, a few years after they left Kansas City, Mickey Mouse; Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising, they founded a little company, Harman-Ising (Cartoons). They came up with “Merrie Melodies” and “Looney Tunes” (at Warner Brothers). Those two guys would end up training two young animators, Hanna and Barbera.”

Back from Collapse

By 1996, this building was slated for demolition. The roof had collapsed on to the second floor, and that floor nearly collapsed on to the first. When Rigby and Shipp bought it on behalf of Thank You Walt Disney for just over $12,000, it was thought that the building couldn’t be saved.

“Very slowly, but very surely, we’ve taken it one step at a time,” says Rigby. “(We’ve) removed all the demolition, put up scaffolding to hold all the walls up, brought in bricklayers, brought in framers, brought in new concrete floors, so now we have a cool shell that is ready for programming and for use as an interactive historic site.”

But getting that “cool shell” ready has taken more than a decade, and it’s been expensive. Rigby estimates about $700,000 has been invested so far; this includes in-kind services and the bulk of a $400,000 match from the Walt Disney Family Foundation. Doors and windows remain boarded up, covered with cartoon figures.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=EJMlruV2RD4

Continue reading Green Plans For Disney Studios

Buyer sought to save historic church | The Indianapolis Star | indystar.com

Shown Dec. 20, 2011, the former Revival Temple Church 1226 Martin Luther Kiing Jr. St. is a Classical Revival style brick building now owned by Indianapolis Public Schools. It was destined to be demolished late this year to make way for a parking lot for Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School. But now IPS has agreed to allow Indiana Landmarks through 2012 to find a buyer for the save the building for reuse. According to Indiana Landmarks, the church was built by African Americans and was for most of its history the Phillips Temple CME Church. It's in the Flanner House Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.  When the Temple vacated the building, they took with them the stained glass windows and the large organ.

A 91-year-old stately brown-brick Downtown church building, which had been a longtime gathering place for African-Americans, has a chance to avoid demolition.

That is, if someone with plenty of money and an idea for reuse of the deteriorating structure comes forward next year.

Located in the Flanner House Homes historic district, the building at 1226 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. was scheduled to be demolished in September to make way for parking for Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School, a short distance to the south.

Indianapolis Public Schools purchased the building with the four towering white columns at its entrance — and some adjacent land — in January for $319,000.

However, IPS Superintendent Eugene White and his administration recently accepted a request from Indiana Landmarks to give preservationists until December 2012 to try to save the building by finding a buyer willing to rehabilitate it.

A progress report on the search will be given to White in about six months, said Mark Dollase, Indiana Landmarks’ vice president of preservation services.

“There are few buildings left in the city built by African-Americans for African-Americans,” Dollase said, citing losses due in particular to redevelopment in the heart of the city.

“For that,” he said, “it is an important goal for us to see this building remain standing. We’re thrilled that Dr. White and IPS will work with us on finding a solution to a continued use.”

Continue reading Buyer sought to save historic church | The Indianapolis Star | indystar.com

From Cleveland’s dilapidated buildings, salvage workers unearth treasures – The Washington Post

 

The neglected edifice, known as the Ardmore and built just after the turn of the century, has crumbling ceilings and busted-out windows. The copper pipes were stolen long ago. Graffiti artists tagged the walls. Weeds have taken over outside. It has sat empty for years, just like the building next door, and the one next to that, like thousands of others in Cleveland beset by population loss and a brutal housing crisis.

Recently, the Ardmore received a death sentence. It will be torn down in a matter of days, part of an ongoing effort to demolish vacant and abandoned properties and chip away at blight. But first, Hennessy and his colleagues have a chance to salvage whatever is worth saving.

 

 

 

 

via From Cleveland’s dilapidated buildings, salvage workers unearth treasures – The Washington Post.