Construction Has Almost Finished for Carson Block Building Historic Renovation
We are the architect, theatre Consultant and acoustician for this 51,000 sq. ft. renovation project. The Carson Block Building was originally built in 1892, located at the corner of Third and F streets in Eureka, the historic part of downtown Eureka.
It was for lumber baron William Carson and the first commercial building of its kind in Eureka. It contained professional offices, large retail spaces and the 837-seat Ingomar Theatre, which was one of the most ornate theaters of its time on the West Coast. The building has had a number of renovations and alterations over the years, including the demolition of the Ingomar Theater space into storage areas at the second and third floors.
The Northern California Indian Development Council, a non-profit group servicing a large area of the state, bought the building in 1986 and tried to restore it since then. It was a very long way to get funding, at the same time, changes in available funding and state regulations stood in the way for years.
The current changes of the Carson Block Building consists of: the rehabilitation of the entire building to a period of historic significance about 1910’s, which includes the removal of the plaster stucco and glass block that obscured the historic features; this work also includes restoration of the southwest turret, which had been misguidedly removed in the 1950’s “modernization.” The current seismic upgrade of the building includes work from the basement level through all floors, a new mezzanine level replacing the existing, and new brace framing and moment frames have been imbedded into the walls; renovated office spaces and an event space in the old theater space; new heating and ventilation system; updated rest rooms for ADA compliance; new electrical systems, data, communications and lighting; new fire protection systems, including a new automatic fire sprinkler system throughout the building and fire alarms.
This rehabilitation of one of the first office buildings in Eureka has been a collaboration of the public and private sectors combining efforts to fulfill the non-profit group’s need to be of service to the community in a safe, efficient and attractive facility. The design team has been challenged with this collaborative effort, where we as the architects of record balanced the necessities of the seismic upgrade with the historic fabric requirements for the best solutions for the client group.
The construction was finally started at the end of 2014. It has finished in 3 months (May of 2016). Read More>