Renovations/­Adaptive Reuse – Over 5,000 Sq Ft Archives | AIA Atlanta

Lizzie Chapel Flats

Lizzie Chapel Flats, a circa-1930 building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1973 and was recognized as a contributing building within the locally designated Inman Park Historic District in 2002. Formerly a Baptist church, there were, previously, multiple failed reuse attempts. The successful design is one that preserved the historic essence of the building and responded to the community’s concerns to maintain limited impact on the character of the neighborhood. The well-received design maintained the appeal of Inman Park by restoring the original historic facades, preserving the Euclid Avenue entrance beneath the original columns, and leaving the church sign in place.

The church’s two stories are now comprised of three stories and 6 residential flats. Each flat is unique due to its location in the church and the historical details that were restored. The stained glass, along with the steeple, were ornamental additions made in the 1970s-1980s and therefore were removed. The tall windows were returned to their original design with window profiles that matched existing. The windows flood the open, loft-like units with natural light.

The exterior restoration and interior renovation had to be addressed in an in-depth yet restrained manner. The challenge was to design an evolved space that wasn’t overdone. Over-designing the building would have lost character of the place – but, meticulous detailing and careful collaboration with the engineers was required to achieve 17,000 square feet of residential space.

Page Woodson School

The adaptive reuse of Page Woodson School into affordable apartments marks a vibrant cultural rebirth in Oklahoma City. This historic African American high school is an outstanding example of a Classical Revival red brick school building. Part of a larger plan to preserve black history while re-energizing an urban milieu, this project utilized LIHTC funding and historic tax credits to create a 100% affordable development.

The original building was constructed in 1910; additions followed in 1919, 1934 and 1948. In 1934 it transitioned from an all-white elementary school to the already well-established Frederick Douglass, the city’s only African American high school and a gathering place for the African American community in OKC. Vacant for 20 years, the building attracted trespassers who set multiple fires. It was in an advanced state of decay when purchased in 2013.

Conceptually, the project addresses the demand for affordable housing while preserving, restoring and adapting a National Register property. Extensive community outreach helped determine the best path for this treasured community resource. An additional story was added inside the gymnasium to optimize living space.

The alma mater of author Ralph Ellison, the transformed school still bears Frederick Douglass’ name but now accommodates 65 apartments and a renovated 700-seat auditorium for community arts and performance groups. The adaptation capitalizes on the building’s art deco flourishes, limestone accents and school themes, with most original blackboards preserved in place. A portion of the apartments are scaled as lofts with soaring ceilings, and all living spaces feature abundant daylight.

Juniper & 10th Street

This project was based on a public and private partnership formed to improve affordable housing options in Midtown Atlanta.

After providing an affordable housing option for senior and special-needs residents of Midtown Atlanta for over four decades, Tenth & Juniper High Rise received a major update in 2017.

Located at the highly-trafficked intersection of Tenth and Juniper Streets, the existing 0.7 acre site suffered from an excess of curb cuts, creating unfriendly and confusing pedestrian access for both residents and visitors. Use of the main entrance and accessible parking spaces required navigation of ad-hoc ramps and sidewalks. New work included the removal of two curb cuts from Juniper Street, creating an opportunity for a new outdoor amenity area for building residents. Upgrades to the main entry include the replacement of existing ramps and sidewalks with user-friendly walks, ramps and the construction of a new front porch. These renovations improve access for both residents and visitors.

Interior work included renewal of all 149 one-bedroom apartments to include new lighting, finishes, plumbing fixtures, appliances and air-conditioning systems; installation of an energy-efficient facade system; and upgraded tenant amenities. Installation of new windows and exterior finishes brought an updated appearance to the building’s exterior while preserving key architectural features such as exposed cast-in-place concrete walls. The removal of an underutilized driveway made room for a new exterior porch adjacent to community spaces on the main level.

Alpha Phi at UGA

The Alpha Phi Sorority project rehabilitated the 1860/1909 Dearing-Wilkins House in Athens and converted it from single-family use to sorority use, with the addition of 54 beds, site parking, assembly rooms, and dining facilities. The building program sought to retain as much of the historic house as possible, including original parlor rooms and finishes and significant historic exterior features, while adding to the building in a way that complements the old house that Athenians have loved for years.

Converting the house from single-family to sorority use required the addition of substantial new floor area. The massing of the additions is oriented to the rear of the historic house and across the width of the lot to allow the house’s central hall axis to continue through to the new chapter room in the south wing. The north dorm wing forms one edge of a garden courtyard framed by brick garden walls and the side of the historic house.

The openness at the rear of the historic wraparound porches was preserved by matching the width of the south wing to the historic house and by incorporating a glassy hyphen to connect the north and south wings. This hyphen also breaks up the massing of the two rear additions so that their secondary relationship to the historic house is clear. The exterior detailing of the new additions is sympathetic to the neoclassicism of the historic house, but uses simpler details for both economy and deference to the original.