A couple of years ago, Evergeen Health finished work on its new primary care practice and pharmacy building near the corner of S. Elmwood and W. Chippewa. Once the project was complete, the organization began work on restoring its historic corner building counterpart, which was once the Roanoke Arms Hotel.
I spoke to Justin Azzarella, VP of Community Development, and Kim LaVare, Associate VP for Special Projects and Strategic Initiatives, who told me that they were beyond thrilled with the outcome so far.
According to the two, the work began with the removal of the worn and torn tin Juliet balconies, which was done with Preservation Board approval.
At the same time that work was underway on the exterior of the building – repointing brickwork and replacing sills, etc. – interior work also commenced. Interior work included upgrading to ADA complaint bathrooms, leveling floors for better mobility, and adding wayfinding signage to break down language barriers.
If you pass by the building today, you will notice that the first Juliet balcony has been replaced, with a new sturdier copper version that will eventually patina nicely with time. Two more balconies will soon be one their way, now that the brickwork has been stabilized. Montante Construction handled most of the rehab contract.
The building will also benefit from the addition of new energy efficient windows and lighting, thanks to $2.6 million via secured New Market Tax Credits, through Primary Care Development Corporation, which works with medical facilities in underserved populations.
Aside from the work inside, and on the facade of the building, the grounds are also getting a refresher. New trees are being planted on both corners, many of which were never there to begin with. The addition of the fast-growing American elms will complement the newly expanded sidewalks and landscape improvements, funded by the Dormitory Authority to a tune of $1 million.
Azzarella and LaVare told me that the renovation work on the historic building was done while the building was occupied. That, apparently, was a herculean task, and demanded a lot of careful coordination, so as not to disrupt patients and staff. While that task sounds a bit harrowing, the outcome so far is spectacular. It’s great to see the former Roanoke Arms Hotel Building in such good hands.
Combined, the historic building renovation, and the adjoining new build next door, are collectively referred to as Evergeen Health’s Elmwood Building.