Rehabing a commercial building into a house

Home improvement Q&A, pictures and news fro Mid Century Modern Homes and Houses(NOT for Real Estate)

Moderators: I_LUV_POWER!!!!, Joe, Adriene, moderns-r-us, Tony, Futura Girl, nichols, Java

Bartini
Modern Groupie
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 4:57 pm
Location: columbus, oh

Rehabing a commercial building into a house

Postby Bartini » Thu Aug 07, 2008 5:10 pm

I'm trying to turn a small commercial building (built in 1960) into a home. The trouble is I don't have any blueprints. Is there a way I can find the blueprints and find out who designed it?

User avatar
Tony
Lotta Living Host
Lotta Living Host
Posts: 718
Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2002 3:42 pm
Location: The Desert
Contact:

Postby Tony » Thu Aug 07, 2008 5:52 pm

Hello Bartini,

And welcome to Lotta Living!

Unfortunately, it is difficult to find blueprints. The city building permit office rarely keeps them, except for large commercial buildings sometimes.

But you should still look at the building permits there to see if there is an architect indicated. If so, then you can search for that architect or his/her archives. But unless it was a famous architect, you probably won't find much. Sorry!

But please do that search and post your results. People at Lotta Living seem to know of all sorts of obscure architects. So any clue will help.

Tony
Tony Merchell

Architectural Photographer
www.glassandsteel.com

User avatar
SDR
Lotta Living FANatic
Posts: 4783
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 8:11 pm
Location: San Francisco

Postby SDR » Thu Aug 07, 2008 5:52 pm

While it would be convenient to have the original drawings of your building, you would still have to measure the structure to assure that it was built as drawn (not always the case) before using them as a reliable starting point for remodeling. Anyone able to do competent redesign work, not excluding yourself, should be able to measure and draw the as-built condition.

I mean to encourage you, rather than the opposite ! Best wishes on your project, and I hope you'll keep us posted.

SDR

Bartini
Modern Groupie
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 4:57 pm
Location: columbus, oh

Postby Bartini » Thu Aug 07, 2008 6:11 pm

Thanks for the replies. I'll try to get downtown to see if there's anything to be had. I'd really like to find the name of the designer. I've always heard that the design won some kind of award.

At the very least, I'll post some photos of it over the weekend.

User avatar
Slim and Gabby
Special Secret Modern Agent
Posts: 833
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:33 am
Location: San Leandro, CA USA
Contact:

good luck- this is a cool project!

Postby Slim and Gabby » Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:42 am

Bartini-
Can't wait for pix!

We have been in our MCM house 2 years, and just yesterday finally got to the county records dept to start research. It was strangely fun detective work, but 2+ hours only got us back to 1975....we need to get back to 1960 to find out what we want.

My advice: Be ready for taking notes, and also for schmoozing a new friend in planning or records. We got some great help from a really nice lady.
It's definitely going to require some nerdy sleuthing.

Keep us posted....this sounds like a great idea.
Pen-gu-ins is pracatically chickinz, and I hates to see chickinz cry so much, I has to put’em outta ther mizzery!

User avatar
Joe
Lotta Living Host
Lotta Living Host
Posts: 4624
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2002 10:10 am
Location: sunny Eugene, Oregon
Contact:

Postby Joe » Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:22 am

I always wanted to live in a Denny's.

county or city building department might have something.

robbhouston
Special Secret Modern Agent
Posts: 519
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2005 8:28 am
Location: Nashville, TN
Contact:

Postby robbhouston » Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:01 am

After not having much luck finding a hip MCM home to purchase in Nashville TN, I was seriously considering buying an old gas station just outside of town and converting it into a home. It was alone on nice 2 lane road, just outside suburbia. Had cool multi leveled flat roofs and good room arrangement. There was the main large garage area, of course, which could've served as an open floor plan living/kitchen/dinning space. It had nice large roll-up fully windowed doors (though insulation may have been a problem there). That linked to a large entry space with lots of glass...which then linked to offices, bathrooms, etc, etc. It was doable. But thankfully, I found the house I now live in. Much less work required, and more affordable (which was critical for me).

I've always thought rehabbing a commercial building into a home was an interesting idea. So many of the older commercial buildings have such cool modern lines.

I look forward to seeing your pics and plans for your project.

--Robb
http://www.nashvillemodern.com
A little website I created to showcase my home and other MCMs in and around the Nashville TN area.

User avatar
SDR
Lotta Living FANatic
Posts: 4783
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 8:11 pm
Location: San Francisco

Postby SDR » Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:25 pm

A graduate of my design school bought a gas station in an urban Boston neighborhood and made a home of it. The living room sported a conversation circle of four vintage barber chairs, each upholstered in a different strong color. Oh, those heady 'sixties. . .


SDR
"I laugh in the face of danger! Then I hide until it goes away." Bender

Bartini
Modern Groupie
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 4:57 pm
Location: columbus, oh

Some photos

Postby Bartini » Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:41 pm

Was going to put some images of the building up for display, but I can't quite figure it out. Any suggestions?

As to the structure: it's not huge, only 28 feet by 58 feet, but the basement area is the same as the upstairs area. For a structure built in 1960, it's amazingly green: no lead, no mold, no asbestos. The whole thing is made of steel, glass, concrete, wood, and woolrock. The windows all face North and South, allowing for passive solar heating and light. Also, it has awning windows all along the top to vent hot air out near the ceiling.

To top it off, it's in a great neighborhood, within easy walking distance of a park, public tennis courts (be nice if I actually played tennis), a farmer's market, restaurants, doctors, vets, and a grocery store.

I'm really looking forward to getting into the project, but first I have to check with the local city council and get approval for converting it from professional to residential space.

[/img]

egads
Mondo Lounge Lizard
Posts: 1671
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 8:25 pm
Location: Long Beach CA

Postby egads » Sun Aug 10, 2008 5:45 pm

To post images, they must be hosted somewhere like flicker.
For tip, see the thread at the bottom of the main thread list page called: test messages. Not only is it the place to test, but I got some good tips there.

User avatar
Slim and Gabby
Special Secret Modern Agent
Posts: 833
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:33 am
Location: San Leandro, CA USA
Contact:

living at Denny's

Postby Slim and Gabby » Mon Aug 11, 2008 5:55 am

Joe:

You mean I'm NOT the only weirdo who wanted to live at Denny's? I'm thinking of the late '60's iteration. I have always loved that orange and pink color scheme.

I had a friend who scored a big orange curved booth at one point, but the piece I would die for is the gloppy plastic wall screen in Orange plexi type stuff with the big pink flowers. I'd like to build a house around that if I could have one!

I've had some success living in commercial space. In the '90's I built a beautiful loft in an SF warehouse. Went up 22 feet in a 40 foot ceiling to catch the view. Had salvaged cherry church railings and some great wainscoting to set it off. Plus a 20 foot bank of windows starting at 20 feet up. Oh, it was nice. There is so much that can be done with a little ingenuity and a lot of scrounging.
Pen-gu-ins is pracatically chickinz, and I hates to see chickinz cry so much, I has to put’em outta ther mizzery!


Return to “Mid Century Modern Houses and Homes”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests