Repurpose + Renovation
With the revitalization of downtown Mount Vernon being at the forefront for this small college town, the need for temporary housing for visiting college professors and traveling health care professionals created the perfect opportunity to re-invigorate an existing downtown block. The corner of Main Street and Gambier Street, an intersection that was previously inconsequential to look at, has now become a hub for downtown Mount Vernon. The project began with a vision for bringing this block back to life in the Victorian Style that this town was founded on. Historic colors were used to create a charming affect with colored storefronts, segmenting a flat facade to give a row-house effect.
Along with preserving and updating the look of the exterior of this building, the large, dilapidated apartment flats were transformed into 16 economical one- and two-bedroom condos. These spaces yielded many surprises and opportunities to celebrate the history of the building. One such surprise was the 8-foot diameter wheel found in one of the attic crawlspaces. This wheel is believed to be used in the original construction of the building to raise materials, such as the brick, into place. It still spins today!
Before these renovations there was a series of attic spaces that were unusable, with either no light and no flooring or no access. These areas were transformed into cozy reading and workspaces. Another opportunity arose when several low height additions were removed from the second floor of the building. By opening up these areas, additional natural light is able to flow into these interior spaces that were once uncomfortable and dark.
The decision to restore the extents of the building to its original 1850's footprint allowed for the creation of an outdoor terrace. This space offers additional amenities for the tenants, giving them access to gas grills and firepits, as well as year-round exterior seating.
This downtown economic development effort has brought vibrancy to the area with 16 beautiful new condos, an amazing outdoor patio area designed to promote resident interactions, safe and attractive parking options, and stunning retail facades along downtown’s main corridor.
Kim Rose, Mount Vernon Development Company President
The condos were designed with a contemporary aesthetic that combined with the charming details of an 1850’s building, creating temporary spaces that feel more like home. Utilizing economically sized bedrooms allowed the kitchen and living room spaces to be open concept, taking full advantage of the natural light.
Color, once again, was used on the inside, creating wayfinding and a sense of home. Four color schemes were developed so that that no two neighbors would have the same color cabinets and finishes. Each entry door into the building is a different color to enhance the wayfinding and to serve as a community building tool.
Another aspect of the design was to develop spaces for residents to park. There were several gravel and dilapidated lots on an adjacent street but nothing that combined beauty with functionality. Six different parking lots were chosen to revitalize. One of these was the existing Rotary Park parking area that offers a scenic Riverview destination and connection to the local bike path. Now tenants are able to walk from their cars to their homes on well lit, tree lined, streets.
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