The WSB will be located in an existing two-story concrete framed structure with cast concrete exterior walls. Constructed in the early 20th century, the facility was used for a variety of light industrial functions until the 2000’s and has since been used intermittently for storage. The project is seeking state and federal historic tax credits.
The exterior will remain largely in its current configuration with new doors installed in existing openings on the east elevation to opening the building at street level. New openings will be made on the west elevation. A new membrane roof is necessary with access to raised planting beds and roof-top mechanical units. A new skylight will be installed for more natural light at the interior.
Functioning like a traditional forum or piazza, the interior will remain largely an open floor plate with back of house functions at the first column bay around the perimeter of the north, west and south sides. The first floor will house all restaurant and retail businesses with a large open area for dining and special events. At the center of the public space, a large communicating stair serves at a gathering, multi-purpose space below the proposed skylight.
The second floor will house WEDI offices, a training kitchen, two multi-purpose classroom spaces, storage, overflow seating and the ability for pop-up events. New partitions are a mix of glass and metal stud with gypsum board. Much of the industrial character and finishes of the building will be maintained while creating a bright, lively and welcoming space with new tile murals.