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Renovations of Three Downtown Springfield buildings Reveal Glimpses of Past – News – The State Journal-Register – Springfield, IL

Items from the past are always fun to find when you’re restoring Old Historic Buildings.

It’s nice to see more interest in restoring our past for the future going on all across the US.def04199858b46db922dd91d702986d3_B1NpPM
The work also has turned up small reminders here and there of office work before the age of computers and high-speed Internet. Someone working in the Booth building, for instance, apparently had a fondness for Bubble Up soda. A metal spittoon and a Tuxedo Tobacco tin preceded smoking bans. No modern office was complete without Purity Typewriter Oil. The product said so right on the label.”It will not gum or get rancid.

Heavy brown fabric — similar in touch to burlap — helped keep elevators quiet. Levison & Blythe Manufacturing Co. of St. Louis produced the typewriter cleaning oil. Mail tubes ran between floors for interoffice correspondence. Patches of white mosaic tile can still be found. Removal of a wall revealed skylights that apparently had been obscured for decades.

“We’re just kind of collecting it all,” Lawrence said. “We’ll probably put them on display somewhere in the building, maybe in the lobby. It helps show the history of the buildings.”

Lawrence, who heads Siciliano Inc. of Springfield, estimated that it would take another two years to complete restoration of all three buildings.

The Ferguson and Booth buildings were both built in the early 1900s, according to a history compiled by Lawrence. Both are eight stories high. The three-story Bateman-Kennedy Building in between dates to the 1800s. Early work is concentrating on the westernmost Booth Building, where plans include 21 upper-level apartments and lower-level commercial space.

Lawrence, who declined to estimate the cost of the project, said his goal is to open apartments in the Booth Building in early 2016, followed by completion of the Bateman-Kennedy and Ferguson buildings.

The long-term plan is for a single entrance through the Bateman-Kennedy Building to the upper levels of all three buildings. Three to four apartments also are planned in the Bateman-Kennedy Building. Cafe Brio restaurant will remain on the ground floor of the Ferguson Building, which will be remodeled for office and conference space. Lawrence said he envisions a fitness center and an upper-story restaurant among the possibilities.

via Renovations of three downtown Springfield buildings reveal glimpses of past – News – The State Journal-Register – Springfield, IL


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Classic Red Stone 1900’s Historic Building Fighting for Restoration!

Kozy Building Passing 11th Hour For Restoration | FOX 21 News, KQDS-DT

Let’s see What Happens here in September 2015? This is occuring all over the US.


DULUTH, Minn. – 28 June 2015

It’s been nearly five years since the troubled Kozy building went up in flames in Duluth. And today, it remains arguably the biggest eyesore in downtown Duluth.

But a businessman behind the restoration plans tells FOX 21’s Dan Hanger he’s got one more solid shot at millions in housing tax credits to turn the property around before the weather takes its final beating on the building or the city of Duluth heads in for demolition.

“There’s a little bit of displacement in the arch and we’re seeing that in a few areas. That wasn’t there last year, so that tells us the clock is running,” said Mike Conlan, former Duluth director of planning and development, and current business partner with Eric Ringsred who owns the building.

“The seriousness is if we’re not successful this year, we’re probably going to throw in the towel and say, ok, we’ve been trying this for three years,” Conlan said.

But Conlan believes his recent application for $7 million in state Housing Tax Credits seems promising this time around after being denied last year.

“The engineering study is done. The architectural work is done. Appraisals have been done. Market studies — all of that. It’s a complete package,” Conlan said.

In the meantime, while Mayor Don Ness wants to see the historic building finally restored, he also says the demolition process by the city is very real and only the fault of the property owner.

“There should have been investment made years ago. First of all, the building should have been insured so when it went up in flames, they would have had the dollars to reinvest and fix the building, but it wasn’t insured,” Ness explained.

While Conlan doesn’t own the building, he remains hopeful the state will pull through with the $7 million in tax credits before the clock strikes midnight.

“It’s all in before the state. And again, they tell us it’s a competitive proposal, they like it, but of course it’s statewide competition,” Conlan said.

“They need to step up in a major way if this building is going to be saved,” Ness said.

via Kozy Building Passing 11th Hour For Restoration | FOX 21 News, KQDS-DT | Welcome to FOX 21 Online