Blight to Bright
Vision and determination gave this long neglected warehouse once used as an asbestos storage and transfer station, a new purpose and extended life.
The newly renamed Olive and Wallace Building was originally constructed by the Everett Clark Seed Company in 1924. Over the years it has housed offices, storage, retail light commercial uses, and served as an asbestos repository and shipping station. Due to extensive contamination in the building and the surrounding ground, the area was declared a superfund site and was subject to several rounds of hazardous material remediation
With three stories above grade and a complete basement, the owner and design team shared a vision for the potential of the simple beautiful structure hidden beneath the well-worn exterior. It was the determination to realize this vision that allowed layers of ill constructed additions and failing materials to be stripped away revealing the intrinsic beauty of this historic structure.
Essential to realizing this project strategy was a comprehensive plan to excavate down to the basement level on three sides of the building to create open recessed patios, light wells, and multiple new entrance points to expose and enhance formerly dark basement that had previously been only suitable for storage. Spaces were transformed by bolstering the existing timber structure, removing redundant rows of columns, adding large expanses of glass and new light finishes bringing daylight into the core of the building and highlighting the historic posts and beam structure. Upper level ceilings were removed to expose wood ceilings with large timber trusses. The entire third floor level was removed and rebuilt 18” higher than the original in order to raise the second story and maximize its potential. A large atrium space was created by opening up a portion of the second story to the first floor below.
A metal warehouse that had been added in the 1970s was removed and repurposed off site, allowing the addition of many new south facing windows bringing sunlight and views into the building’s first floor and new window openings on the second and third floors were composed to capture views and provide flexibility for tenants.
With structural upgrades, a high performance HVAC system, and full accessibility to all levels the building quickly attracted a mix of tenants including creatives, local film companies and environmental non-profits. Each tenant space was designed with a consistent goal to highlight the important elements of this historic building while providing a variety of refreshing comfortable and functional spaces for occupants.
Located in a previously blighted area, the building is adjacent to the Public Library and its proximity to Main Street and Bozeman’s extensive network of trials and open space make it a very desirable place to work and model for adaptive reuse. Ground level tenants have direct access to outdoor patios on what was once the railroad loading platform and landscaped areas are punctuated by pedestrian ways completing the streetscape and connecting adjacent residential neighborhoods to the Library and Lindley Park to the East.
Through this innovative approach to adaptive reuse, the Olive and Wallace Building exemplifies the value of sustainable development and investment in our community core.