A vacant, City-owned building at 509 Michigan Avenue, south of the historic Michigan Avenue Baptist Church, is in line for a restoration and expansion. Carmina Wood Morris has prepared plans for the stabilization and construction project pro-bono.
The 1,500 sq.ft. building has had numerous modifications over more than one hundred years will be restored.
An addition will be added to the south of building which recreates the original facade and the two main wings of the building will be connected at the rear portion and separated by a courtyard at the front, closest to Michigan Avenue. This project will restore and build a civic building in the African American Heritage Corridor. According to a 2018 funding announcement by Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes, the second floor could include office and meeting space for the Michigan Street African American Historic Corridor Commission, with first floor retail such as a small café and/or visitor’s center and public meeting and exhibition space.
From the project application:
The intent of project is to sensitively redevelop the vacant and abandoned structure currently on the northern edge of the parcel while simultaneously expanding to the south with an addition replicating the historic streetscape of this heritage block. Structures will be connected across the back (eastern facades) creating appearance of independent buildings from the street, while allowing for unified floor plate and common entry from off-street parking to the rear. Final programming for the project is yet to be determined, however spaces have been designed intended for business and assembly usage. Work will include masonry restoration and fenestration replacement in existing building along with recreation of historic storefronts based upon photographic and site documentation. Addition will utilize similar masonry, fenestration and composite trim details as original while clearly establishing new versus old elements to respect the history of the site.
Project funding includes $1 million from New York State’s State and Municipalities Program. The Planning Board will review the project at its Monday meeting.