Sunday, May 17, 2009

Safe as houses: adaptive reuse in Baltimore, Maryland

"The finest of these Florentine palaces are, I imagine, the tallest habitations in Europe that are frankly and amply habitations--not mere shafts for machinery of the American grain-elevator pattern." -- Henry James, Italian Hours (1909).

On pages 401-404 of American Colossus, I note that the most common way to adaptively reuse an abandoned grain elevator -- that is, one that has been "reclaimed" soon after it has been abandoned and hasn't experienced any significant damage in the interim -- is to convert it into a house or a hotel. This has been done, and quite successfully, in Akron, Ohio, where a Quaker Oats Elevator & Mill was transformed into a hotel in 1980; in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the Cereal Grading Company's elevator and warehouse was made into a condominium complex called Calhoun-Isles in 1982; and in Baltimore, Maryland, where the Baltimore & Ohio Grain Terminal -- note the horizontal gantries, which were typical of elevators that loaded ocean-going grain tankers (see picture above) -- was turned into SiloPoint in 2007 (see picture below).

Similar projects have recently been undertaken in Philadelphia (condominiums called "the Granary"), Minneapolis (low-income housing at "Van Cleve Court Apartments East") and Harburg, Germany.

No comments:

Post a Comment