This existing (3) story former school building was adapted to a multi-family dwelling, and the process mandated an accessibility upgrade including the installation of an elevator. Due to the nature of the existing heavy masonry bearing walls and the historic character of the building, the best solution was to create a rear external elevator tower that could interface with the layout of the existing building’s circulation.
The building was home to the George L. Horn School and later Sheridan West Academy before closing in 2013. In 1986, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The original building was constructed in 1902-04 by S. Garley Jr. The architect was Lloyd Titus and the style is Late Gothic Revival / Anglo Gothic.
It is a three-story, five bay, stone building and features terracotta and granite trim, and a pitched gable roof. Lloyd Titus was a city architect that designed school buildings, many of which are also on the Historic Register.
The project transformed a vacant school into 29-residential units and four office spaces, with an accessory gymnasium space. A new elevator was installed to connect the basement to the 3rd floor on the rear of the existing building. An accessible entry ramp and stair was included within the property line as well.
Minimal changes were made to the exterior, except for the elevator shaft with black and orange cladding. A new perimeter fence was installed for resident and commercial tenant safety. With existing off-street parking, there are 13 parking spaces and 10 bicycle spaces. Two of the parking spaces would be usable for van accessible spaces.
One of the biggest challenges for this project was resolving the existing site sloping conditions along with the tight spaces provided to create the necessary entry vestibule that would not compromise the continuity of the building’s fire-rated stair enclosures. Another challenge encountered was in providing appealing dwelling unit layouts inside of a footprint that contained many bearing walls and elements that could not be removed, which resulted in many interesting and unique exposed finish conditions.