Renovation and addition to a historic U.S. Forest Service garage building, the Poudre Garage has received the Downtown Colorado Inc. Governor’s Award for Downtown Excellence.
The Governor’s Award recognizes excellence in exemplary commitment to the formation of projects that enhance and encourage an era’s integrity and potential. The award was given during a virtual conference event held last week.
Projects that win the Governor’s Award positively impact the local community through commitments to the downtown, larger plan of the community, and overall culture and nature of the community where the projects reside.
“We are quite pleased that DCI recognized the extra effort that was taken to make the Poudre Garage a great addition to the street, the neighborhood, and downtown Fort Collins,” said Randy Shortridge of [au]workshop architects+urbanists who designed the renovation and addition.
The original building was built as a Forest Service supervisor’s warehouse that combined administrative and vehicle maintenance functions. The building underwent modifications as it aged, and United States Forest Service (USFS) needed changes. The art-deco garage doors were replaced with fixed glazing with other openings filled when the USFS converted the building to office uses before selling it in 1995.
“We worked closely with the client throughout the process because the renovated original building also serves as their office and strove to make the addition compatible with the original building and context without imitating the existing materials and style,” Randy said.
Other alterations made the building ineligible for the National Register, yet it retained most of its historical character, being designated as a local landmark in 1997. The project adds a total of six loft-style apartment units to the site, which increases the neighborhood’s sense of security and walkability in addition to replacing existing surface parking with concealed spaces.
The historic building roof is utilized as exterior living areas for the units activating the building facade. The exterior of the historic garage portion of the building has been restored, and the interior was reconfigured for office and commercial space. The non-original storefront was replaced with glazed garage-style doors that provide a sense of its original use.
“They managed to design a brand new wing honoring the historic portion and its origin,” said Tricia Diehl, the project manager and one of the building owners. “It is a delight to work in such a beautiful space, and we get compliments on it from clients all the time,” Tricia said.