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Idea#96

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Preserving Historic Buildings »

Transform them into lofts/condos!

I have seen it in many other cities as small as Athens, GA and as big as New York City. Beautiful old historic buildings and public schools turned into amazing modern/historical lofts and condos. I know these ideas don't come cheap, but it is a way to bring more people to downtown who still want to live within a mile OF downtown but not quite IN downtown. The idea of this beautiful historic building being torn down is just as bad as the old courthouse on the square being torn down and turned into the 70's-80's monstrosity it remains today. It is so important to maintain the integrity of our historic areas and not rush to demolish our cities history so quickly.

Here is an example of this type of project in Knoxville, TN:

http://stuckinsideofknoxville.com/category/brownlow-lofts/

Submitted by nastacia2 1 year ago

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  1. The idea was posted
    1 year ago

Comments (5)

  1. Well said. People are attracted to loft-style living and will pay a premium for it.

    1 year ago
    1. nastacia2 Idea Submitter

      Thank you so much! I 100% agree that people are willing to pay a premium for this type of living. Downtown has long been pushed aside for building and expanding down the parkway, and its time we focus on the historic security of our beautiful downtown and surrounding buildings.

      1 year ago
  2. then why are you wanting to put loft apartments in a building that was designated for educational purposes only after the Civil War? The Providence Classical private school wants to purchase the property and keep it as a school--its original purpose. Good for them! Let's hope the Historic Commission denies the demolition, and allows it to become a private school.

    1 year ago
    1. nastacia2 Idea Submitter

      I agree! I posted this idea before the possibility of the private school wanting to buy the property for their new campus. I would love for it to remain a learning insitution in its current form, but if it doesn't happen I would love to see the building remain and it be of use to people!

      1 year ago
  3. Moderator

    Good morning. I've been following all the comments with great interest, and I've been excited to see all the ideas. I'll make an admission up front: I'm not as familiar with the school building as most of y'all are, since I'm still relatively new to the city. That said, coming from Atlanta - and having worked with a school system client - I have seen very successful loft reuses in old school building, as well as successful efforts to repurpose with community amenities (like a private school or an arts center or similar).

    To my mind, a complete demolition is a non-starter. I have seen too often in Atlanta the deleterious effects of gutting the unique historic character of neighborhoods. I think it should be a priority to maintain iconic and contributing structures, and adapt them to new uses.

    That said, I also know that the most successful and sustainable efforts were those that were financially sound. As such, my initial thoughts tended toward the loft idea (perhaps with a small-scale mixed-use component like boutique retail or a coffee shop), and the private school idea (though I could see traffic becoming a concern). In the end, I think the goals should be to preserve at least the core character (again, not being familiar with the details of the building, I don't know if there are certain parts that might lend themselves to demolition while retaining the heart) while accommodating a use that contributes to the broader health and vitality of the district.

    Thanks again for all the ideas and comments. I'm really enjoying the dialogue...

    1 year ago