A building damaged in Wind Storm 2008 on Liberty Street in Phoenix Hill has now been fully rebuilt. The 1880’s era commercial vernacular building could have been just another casualty of Hurricane Ike, but the owners, Bargain Supply Company (located on the same block), decided to fix the building instead of tear it down. And they went beyond our expectations.
Before the windstorm, the windows on the upper floor had been substantially reduced in size with brick infill. It always looks a little strange to see a stone lintel several courses of brick above the actual window. The faded yellow-ish paint was peeling and what was left of the window apertures was boarded up. The building needed help; then the winds blew.
A large portion of the roof was severed from the structure, dislodging bricks from the parapet and causing the front facade to bow. The city declared the structure a “Dangerous Building.” The building was still sturdy, and repair work was in the plans. In December, scaffolding was put in place and crews began to rebuild the top floor facade and replace the roof.
The finished product is still just a warehouse, but the building lends a much more inviting face to the street. All the upper floor window openings were restored to their original size and now they even have windows. A new stone parapet cap was put in place and a fresh coat of paint completed the work. Quite a transformation a hurricane can make.
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