The Sullivan Hardware Warehouse
Written by: Robert Mecke
Built during the heyday of development in downtown Anderson, the former Sullivan Hardware Warehouse had sat underutilized for years in the heart of Anderson's central business district, an eyesore of weeds and broken windows just off the courthouse square. Following the closure of the hardware store, the building underwent multiple failed rehabilitation attempts as an office space on the first and second floor. Anderson has lost all the textile mills in the area, and the need for additional housing in the downtown was rising. The building, which is a contributing resource to the National Register Historic District, is the last remaining example of heavy timber construction in town, but due to its size had become a white elephant in the rebirth of Main Street. In the summer of 2020, the new owners embarked on the rehabilitation of the building into multifamily loft style housing using the services of Preservation South to seek the tax credits, and local contractor Mike Christenberry to complete the work. The interior partitions for the office space were removed along with the entry cover. The building has high, small windows on three sides, which provided a challenge for utilizing the building in a functional way. Raising the floor in the living / dining space has allowed the space to maintain this character defining feature. The original windows were reglazed and refurbished, the brick work was cleaned and repointed, and the pine floors were patched and refinished. The building was divided into loft apartments on all three floors. The apartments retain the original floors and highlight the brick walls and heavy timber frame. Fixtures and finishes were selected to evoke the industrial loft style without detracting from the building's historic architectural elements.
The project was largely pre-leased before construction was finished, due to the uniqueness of the building and the attention to detail. It is now a vibrant resource for Anderson, bringing people downtown to live and adding to the renaissance of Main Street.