27 December 2016

Here In The New Urban DTMesa: Adaptive Re-Use of An Historic Property

The Alhambra Hotel on the National Register of Historic Places, is in the finishing stages of rehab construction by Kitchell-Pérez/Venue Builders as readers can see in the images from Monday, December 26, 2016 of the front of the building. Students from Benedictine University will be in residence starting sometime next month.
In a recent article  about ReUrbanism: Shaping Communities Through Re-Use, the organization Saving Places makes a strong case to keep what is unique starting off by stating that Adaptive reuse should be the default, and demolition a last resort.
Historic preservation encourages cities to build on the assets they have—unleashing the enormous power and potential of older buildings to improve health, affordability, prosperity, and well-being. Ultimately, it’s the mix of old and new buildings, working together to fashion dense, walkable, and thriving streets, that helps us achieve a more prosperous, sustainable, and healthier future.
By transforming the places we live to places we love, older buildings are a key and irreplaceable component of this future, and we are richer and stronger when they remain.
We all have places that matter to us—places that define us, places that challenge us, places that bring us together and tell our story.
These places help form our identity and our communities. They create opportunities for growth and help us feel at home. They explain our past and serve as the foundation of our future.
These special places - like this building on the west street of the street - arise organically where people choose to come together, and from the local stories they treasure and wish to see persevere.
Current use is for a transitional living center with housing and counseling services on a section of South MacDonald Street just south of Main Street running to First Avenue where two local businesses have been operating for over 60 years.
There's also a sound studio + a shop that makes pool tables.
At one time, the building you see across the alleyway to world famous Nile Theater was once The Mesa Opera House as you can read in a bronze plaque mounted on the inside column at the north corner.
It gives you an idea of what downtown Mesa was like way-back-when.

Fortunately, these older buildings were not torn down . . But when older buildings are destroyed, the engine that keeps neighborhoods growing, innovating, and thriving is disrupted. Fundamental to ReUrbanism is that building reuse encourages economic growth and stimulates vibrant communities. Our Ten Principles for ReUrbanism outline this important work.
New Tool Available The Atlas of ReUrbanism
As the National Trust’s ReUrbanism initiative seeks to support the successful, inclusive, and resilient cities of tomorrow, the Atlas of ReUrbanism is a tool to help urban leaders and advocates better understand and leverage the opportunities that exist in American cities. The Atlas makes the massive amount of data currently available about cities more accessible, allowing for the exploration and discovery of connections between older buildings and economic, demographic, and environmental outcomes. Whether you’re a mayor, planner, developer, activist, or journalist, the Atlas contains useful information about the businesses and residents, buildings and blocks that make cities work for everyone.

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