Project: 106 East Benson Street, Anderson
Awarded to: Danny Walker, Owner, Daniel Builders, Anderson Contractors, Kyle Campbell, Tax Credit Consultant, Preservation South
Submitted by: Kyle Campbell, Preservation South, LLC
In the fall of 2020, local Anderson businessman Danny Walker began the rehabilitation of a commercial building on Anderson’s public square. Anderson’s downtown is primarily comprised of late 19th century brick commercial buildings, many of which have undergone unsympathetic renovations which have altered or destroyed their architectural integrity. This building was one of the most altered, the late Victorian ornamentation had been completely removed from the building and the entire façade, including the windows, was covered in grey painted stucco. The interior had also been obscured by vinyl floors and dropped ceilings hiding the original wood floors and beadboard ceilings. The building had sat vacant for years as an overlooked gap in the city’s historic streetscape, and while his rehabilitation could have retained the poorly planned changes he inherited, he decided to do more and take the building back to its former appearance.
Historic images of the block allowed the team including Preservation South and Daniel Builders to identify the building’s remaining original features as well as other facades in the vicinity that retain those elements for replication as part of a tax credit rehabilitation. On the interior, additions were removed and the original floors were refinished, the plaster walls were repaired and the beadboard ceilings were patched and painted. The largest changes took place on the exterior, the later stucco façade was removed exposing the original brick and former window openings. The missing tin window hoods and parapet cornice were measured from other surviving examples and recreated using modern materials. The storefront was recreated based on historic images and the entire building was repainted in a more appropriate scheme that incorporated one of the tenant’s colors.
The building now houses a bridal shop on the first floor and a coworking space on the second. A
building which had been unused and unnoticed is now a landmark on the square and an example of what is possible for these commercial buildings if an owner is simply willing to put forth the effort.