Thursday, December 3, 2009

The old Daily Grind

This is the building the Daily Grind store was in before they closed. It has sat vacant for over a year now. New Seasons Market contracted with the property owner to put in a new store at this location on Hawthorne. Their proposal involves demolishing the old building, which isn't very "green". I went to a neighborhood feedback meeting in August and New Seasons claims that due to the economy, banks would no longer finance a loan for a store as small as the existing building. It is such a shame because this is a great old building that is in keeping with the majority of old commercial storefronts on Hawthorne. Far to many mixed-use hyper-contemporary buildings are going up that dwarf the neighboring businesses and buildings. Not to mention they aren't able to sell the condos so they either sit vacant or go apartment instead.
The building facade as it is has some nice brickwork. If the clerestory windows weren't boarded up it would have even more character, so many other Hawthorne buildings have their clerestory windows restored and new insulated glass picture windows. These buildings look fresh, without being wasteful.
Unfortunately no one else at the August meeting was concerned about saving the facade and trying to encorporate it into the new design. The majority of the participants were from Richmond and lived on either 40th or 41st and were concerned about the increased traffic and parking. That and they were happy to learn that one of the neighbor's suggestions to have a walk up coffee window was going to be encorporated into the new store.
Before going to the meeting I took these photos of a building on NE MLK Blvd that saves the original facade of the building, but still ends up with a multi-story/use building. I'm not saying that I love this building, but it is encouraging to see that we can repurpose original structures without turning our backs on our architectural history completely. Isn't that arch great?
I ended up not presenting these photos to Brian the owner because during the course of the presentation I learned that they were no longer designing a multi-story building. The new building with be one story with parking above accessed by a single driveway with a signaling system to let drivers know when the path is clear. I foresee trouble with that.
New Seasons recently updated the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association that the floor plan for the store is being flipped based upon feedback from the city. So now the driveway to access the parking will be on 40th rather than 41st. The plan to begin demolition this winter. Upsetting.

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