In fall of 2018, a re-imagining of the storefront involved extreme sensitivity to the original character of the structure, which was built in 1892 and has a storied history as the home of the E.B. Millar Coffee Company. Following the guidelines of the Lower Downtown Historic District, the project included introducing a more contemporary aesthetic and neutral material palette. A new wood and glass storefront replaced non-historic windows and doors, and the entry was relocated to its original location at the center of the storefront. The work improved the building’s accessibility, increased visibility into the interior and lent an improved sense of symmetry to the overall structure.
Spring of 2019 saw a reconfiguration and energy-efficiency upgrade to the interior of the ground-floor space. Previous non-historic partition walls and restrooms were removed and upgraded with energy-efficient features, such as occupancy- and daylight-sensors and LED lighting, and accessible restrooms and spaces. Consistent with the functional warehouse operation of the building’s original tenant, an open plan was employed and original columns and structure were left exposed.
Mirroring a full tenant build-out of the upper-level studio that took place in 2013, materials and details throughout include exposed brick and timber, oak floors and built-in shelving and storage. Overall, the scale and rhythm of the block has been corrected, benefiting the immediate neighborhood and entire Lower Downtown community by having an additional architectural resource resume a historically appropriate configuration.