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52 Broadway Street

52 Broadway Street Renovation

Location: Asheville, NC / Type: Renovation

52 Broadway is an adaptive reuse project in downtown Asheville. This historic building has been part of the downtown landscape since the 1920s. This building has served many purposes in the community over the past hundred years, from its original use as an automotive dealership, to later uses as a farmers’ cold storage warehouse and an armory. After a thorough renovation, the building is now home to Momentum Gallery on the first two levels and 6 extended-stay hotel suites on the third floor.
52 Broadway Street Historic Exterior Before
Above: Originally built in 1913, 52 Broadway Street was home to numerous auto dealerships through the 1940s. In 1944 Farmer’s Federation, a frozen food warehouse, moved into the building and stayed until the 1960s.
Below: After our renovation, the facade of the building still looks the same in the Asheville streetscape that it has for the past century.
52 Broadway Historic Renovation Exterior After

The new owners of 52 Broadway wanted to ensure this hundred year old building would still be around for the next one hundred years. Not only was there a complete renovation of the interior, we also addressed and upgraded the structure, the roof, the exterior envelope, life safety and accessibility. At the end of its three-year design and renovation process, the building’s long-term viability was renewed.

Paramount to this project was creating a building that was both sustainable and a good neighbor to the community. We worked closely with Sundance Power Systems to install a 21.7 kW solar array on the rooftop, which provides the electricity required to power the gallery. In conjunction with a local metal fabricator, we designed an attractive visual screen that shields the rooftop mechanical systems from the views of taller buildings nearby.

52 Broadway Historic Renovation - Solar Panels

Momentum Gallery

From the start, the plan was to have Momentum Gallery move from their smaller Lexington Avenue location into their new home at 52 Broadway Street. This new Momentum Gallery was designed to be a world-class art gallery that elevates the standard of other galleries in Asheville. We removed several columns to open the gallery space up and give us more flexibility to design the right balance of open and closed spaces for display. We designed permanent walls to define larger spaces in the gallery, and created moveable partitions that give the gallery flexible space planning in the future.

The gallery has dark walnut flooring on the first floor, giving the feeling of a high-end home, and allowing clients to visualize what the art might look like in their own homes. The gallery walls are 13’ tall, and all of the exposed mechanical and plumbing is located in the top 2’ of the area and painted to blend in with the ceiling and tops of walls. This creates a calm backdrop for the art pieces while keeping the ceiling as high as possible. The architectural centerpiece of the gallery is the monumental stair made of walnut and steel with glass handrails. Two story columns that run through the center of the space are wrapped in a mirrored mosaic tile, whose subtle chevron pattern gives a nod to the 1920s when the building was first constructed. The substantial scale of the stairs is the anchor at the gallery’s core that allows you to move through the building and up to the second level. This large, functional feature provides a striking juxtaposition to the artwork in the gallery.

Elevation Lofts

The third floor contains six extended-stay hotel suites overlooking downtown Asheville. These lofts were designed to showcase the original heavy timber roof structure of the building, as well as maximize the livable space at the third floor. Two existing large apartments were apportioned into 6 efficient spaces, with at least two bedrooms, a full kitchen, and laundry facilities in each. Where vertical space permits, elevated mezzanines serve as additional bedrooms. Existing old skylights were modified into thermally-efficient north-facing dormer windows, allowing ample daylight into these mezzanines. The original exposed pine roof decking was “soda blasted” with high-powered sodium bicarbonate, to gently remove the tarnish of age and transform this functional surface into a beautiful finished ceiling.

Project Team

Structural Engineer: Prosim Engineering
Mechanical Engineer: Tilden White & Associates
Photographer: John Warner
Photographer: David Dietrich