Preservation Neighborhood Character Award
Before rehabilitation / Photo: Melrose Project LLC
Address: 1501-1535 Melrose Avenue
Supporting Partners: Melrose Project LLC, Developer; Graham Baba Architects; M.A. Wright Structural Engineers; MRJ Constructors; Seattle Bank, Lender
Located on the western edge of Seattle's Pike/Pine neighborhood, Melrose Market opened in January 2010, bringing a mix of small, independently owned businesses that have helped transform a block of the neighborhood that has seen less activity in the past. The project, developed by Scott Shapiro of Eagle Rock Ventures and Liz Dunn of Dunn & Hobbes, converted two former auto garages built in 1919 and 1928 into active spaces that have become a draw for residents, workers and visitors alike.
After rehabilitation / Photo: Graham Baba Architects
The existing, one-story buildings were solidly built and provided the perfect blank slate for adaptive reuse. Featuring original concrete columns, old-growth Douglas fir beams, exposed rafters, high ceilings, concrete floors, and exposed brick walls, the structures allowed the project team to be creative with the raw industrial space. As described in the blog, RetailMix, "Graham Baba Architects was assigned the task of converting this classic auto row structure in the densely populated Capitol Hill neighborhood into a modern, urban market. GBA described the ultimate goals of the project as: 'historic preservation; utilization of sustainable, repurposed materials; returning transparency of original building to bring in natural light as well as engage and interact with the streetscape and pedestrian traffic.'”
The project has received a considerable amount of positive press in its first year—it's a success story of redevelopment and preservation, particularly in a depressed economy. The project updated the buildings to meet current building code while maintaining many original interior features. The exterior design retains the original form, massing, brick cladding and transom windows.
The 2011 Preserving Neighborhood Character award was presented to the project team for Melrose Market for preserving and transforming two humble buildings into a thriving mix of retail, restaurants, and urban market where people can eat, drink, and shop locally.