Thursday, April 20, 2017

Creative Real Estate - Transforming a Post Office into a Home

From US Post Office to Sophisticated Home

Clients have had hopes of converting a church into a home.
But no one has mentioned a post office.

Loving all things with a past, I find this conversion remarkable.  The planning, financial investment, and commitment to maintaining the integrity of the building make this such a success.  Most of all I enjoy the stories of what owners discover when they take on a historied home (or post office in this case)
" . . . the weirdest structural detail of all: secret passageways that let the postmaster scuttle unseen within the walls, spying on employees. The concrete entrances to these passageways were built into several closets, along with ladders leading to each floor."  Enjoy a short tour below.  

Photo courtesy of The Kaintuckeean

The blue mail box in front may be a hold-over from its Federal Government days, but 
the rest of the Kentucky property has a new life as a single-family home. 

Featured in This Old House, Hooked on Houses, as as well as as on NPR.

Perhaps a post office isn't the first thought that comes to mind when you think of a conversion, but the owner saw the potential when she paid $162,000 for it - ugly linoleum, chipped paint and all.

The former lobby continues to serve as the entrance into the formal living room, however the 16 ft. ceilings were lowered 2 ft. to hide pipes and conserve energy.
Though extensive work was necessary, the lavish features in this Depression-era building were worth the effort - marble baseboards, pink granite walls, and terra-cotta floor tiles.

Original floor plan courtesy of The Kaintuckeean

Original floor plan courtesy of The Kaintuckeean

"From the start, the project's success depended on the new owner's ability to establish a logical traffic pattern and inject warmth into the imposing commercial palace. She accomplished the job with fine wood details and a collection of antique lighting fixtures that leavened the overbearing effect of the building's massive stone walls. 'I had the place laid out in my mind 15 minutes after I walked in the door,' the doctor/design junkie recalls. 'I knew where I'd put the kitchen, where the living room would go, and I knew I could run a library off the main staircase.'"

The Post Office "work room" was converted to an informal Great Room, a new limestone fireplace replacing the original stamp window.

 The owner's focus was on craftsmanship and period-appropriate work.  Notice the refrigerator to the right, it mimics an oak icebox.

"A new catwalk transformed an open area near the original staircase into a two-story library. The decorative molding was found elsewhere in the building, stripped, repainted, and installed as trim; the pedestal table was salvaged from the lobby. The ceiling treatment hides unsightly old pipes."

The owner collaborated with a craftsman for the woodwork, including cabinets and wainscoting, as well as the library, a nod to the musical My Fair Lady.
The original Post Master's office remains as the in-home office, complete with the original door.
What does one do with a massive safe?  
In this case, add cherry cabinetry to home an extensive silver collection.
The owner kept much of the original bathroom intact, adding minimal updates.

A stunning veranda was created from the back loading dock with the addition of a concrete balustrade and french doors.

No comments:

Post a Comment