We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Navel Gazing
My friend Jeremy Wood is renovating a building a block away from me. His place was formerly part of the Jimmie Hale Mission, before they moved out of the area. He's doing a concept similar to my project, living on the top floor and leasing the bottom for a retail business (I'm rooting for the comic book shop, Jeremy). I mentioned last week that the Birmingham Business Journal did a great article on him and the 2nd Avenue momentum, in general. I'm incredibly impressed that he's doing a lot of the work himself, as in "with his own two hands." We've been catching up every once in a while to compare notes and look at each others' progress, and he was nice enough to let me swipe some of his Facebook pictures to post. I love the picture of the original storefront; I keep meaning to stop by the library to grab some old Counts Bros. photos. If he could find or somehow reproduce that sign that reads "Chicks" I think it would be a great addition to the neighborhood.
The building front is almost finished and looks great. I like how the modern storefront window pattern contrasts with the original brick. The steel beams above the windows are a nice nod to the original look (and probably structurally important but I don't know anything about that).
The 2nd floor had been opened up in a previous effort to renovate the building. That tenant was going to have a restaurant/bar and the openings were intended to be balconies. Jeremy is keeping the balcony concept and has reinforced the rest of the 2nd floor.
He's got a great view out of the residence windows. That Moorish looking building across the way is newly renovated. I don't know the people who did it, but I like the facade. His front windows have a beautiful panorama of the downtown skyscrapers, although you can only see the City Federal in these pictures.
Last time I was over there he had started framing his living space, and seeing the layout fleshing out has helped me visualize what it's going to look like at the end.