The Revitalization of Richmond’s St. Alban’s Lofts
Commonwealth Architects was commissioned by St. Alban’s Lofts, LLC to provide architectural, historic consulting and interior design services for the rehabilitation of the 12,000 square foot St. Alban’s Building, located at the intersection of 5th and Main Street in Richmond, Virginia.
The three-story St. Alban’s Hall, originally a Masonic Hall during the post-Civil War period, was built in 1869 and features a stuccoed brick façade. Historically, Freemasons used St. Alban’s Hall as a meeting and entertaining space, while a drugstore and candy shop on the first floor served the community through the mid-1900s. In 1982, the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The building had been used as office space for many years, but its new owner saw an opportunity to mix both commercial and residential use. When the redevelopment is complete, it will offer 2,550 square feet of first-floor commercial space and ten apartments on the floors above, using a mix of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. The units contain two-story high volume spaces with lofts and large windows to provide a generous supply of natural light.
The historic component of this rehabilitation includes preserving a considerable amount of original fabric and architectural details. While most of this rehabilitation will take place internally, the structure will have numerous exterior façade repairs and upgrades including a new roof.
“The St. Alban’s Building has such a rich history and has seen many uses over the years. It also has some wonderful historic details that will be restored and preserved. The tall loft spaces will be dynamic spaces to live in and the commercial spaces will contrast modern urban office interiors against the historic setting. The structure continues to celebrate its past while providing a useful and vibrant space for today. Commonwealth Architects is excited to be working on it and contributing to the great future of this neighborhood,” said Lee Shadbolt, principal at Commonwealth Architects.
Commonwealth Architects’ design team is working alongside Lu+Smith Engineers, PLLC, McPherson Design Group, and Trent Construction to bring new life back into this historic structure in one of Richmond’s rapidly growing urban areas. The owner is currently pursuing Federal and State Historic Investment Tax Credits. The rehabilitation of the St. Alban’s Building is estimated to be complete in 2018.