The past wasn’t so long ago: how a WWI-era concrete building surprised us with its connection to the past
We were recently asked by a developer to look at a large open air shed they are turning into retail space below and offices above. Since the project sought to use historic tax credit funding, they had many preservation entities to satisfy.
The developer wanted to sheath the building in glass, but otherwise leave much of the structure exposed. They needed our help interpreting what is unique and important about the structure. Historic buildings are always trying to tell us a story. While concrete structures are now ubiquitous, what makes this one unique?
On our first visit, the interior was inaccessible, but we were drawn to the unique colorations on the mostly weathered paint surfaces. When we returned to look at the building again on a nice cloudy day, we could see the beautiful formwork with the wood grain clearly visible even 20 feet up on the ceilings.
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