Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 10

FEATURE

historic buildings

Detroit Fire Department
Headquarters, Detroit
H

istoric preservation and renovation of the former Detroit Fire Department
Headquarters and adjacent Pontchartrain Wine Cellars building resulted

in a new 100-key boutique hotel featuring ground-level restaurant, private
dining room, chef's table, bar, lounge, retail, two business meeting rooms, and
a podcast studio. The Foundation Hotel includes a fitness center and a new
modern building addition to the fifth floor to host banquets and parties for as
many as 160 guests.
McIntosh Poris Associates, Detroit, worked with Aparium Hotel Group and
Simeone Deary Design Group, both of Chicago, to repurpose the former fire
department headquarters and the adjacent building. The $28-million project
embraces a "Detroit State of Mind" to welcome visitors and locals with an

Above left. McIntosh Poris Associates worked with Aparium Hotel Group and Simeone Deary Design Group, both of
Chicago, to repurpose the former Detroit fire department headquarters and the adjacent building. Photo: Michelle and
Chris Gerard, courtesy McIntosh Poris
Above. Historic preservation and renovation of the former Detroit Fire Department Headquarters and adjacent Pontchartrain Wine Cellars building resulted in a new 100-key boutique hotel featuring ground-level restaurant, private
dining room, chef's table, bar, lounge, retail, two business meeting rooms, and a podcast studio. Photo: Jason Keen,
courtesy McIntosh Poris

authentic sense of place.
The existing red-sandstone and masonry building fa├žade was repaired
and restored to maintain the building's character. Decorative terra cotta

an adaptive reuse. Underutilized commercial, office, warehouses, and department stores from

panels sporting firehouse themes, such as busts of firefighters, griffins at a

the turn of the century in downtowns, along with the larger structures built in suburban loca-

fire hydrant, and winged serpent-tailed figures flanking a shield proclaiming

tions, have become available and desirable for reuse," he said.

"DFD," were repaired, cleaned, and maintained. The original fire-engine-red

"These structures are interesting to developers of office, residential, and retail for a number

doors were restored and reused. The building's origins are used to great

of reasons. In downtowns, there are usually highly utilized at the street level for retail, but sit

advantage in the ground-floor 150-seat restaurant and bar situated in the

unused above ground. Such buildings are largely not listed on local or national historic regis-

former fire-engine hall and private dining room in the historic lounge.

ters, and that is helpful given the perception that it is difficult to deal with the Secretary of the

"The apparatus room was an amazing space, and we wanted that to
be the hub of the hotel," said Michael Poris, AIA, principal, McIntosh Poris

Interior's Standards. Without the listing, the Standards can be treated as they were intended-
guiding concepts, versus rules to be obeyed," Auld added.

Associates. We wanted to keep that space intact. That meant keeping the tile
and keeping the columns, but then making it into a space, obviously, much

AVOIDING MISTAKES

different than what it ever was when it had fire trucks in it.

However, preserving, rehabilitating, restoring, or reconstructing historic buildings involves

"We were joining two buildings together, one was built in the 1880s and one

myriad decisions, and mistakes can be made.

in 1929, and the floors didn't line up at all. They were five feet different between

"Making decisions in a piecemeal way without understanding the property is something

the two buildings. There were two elevators in the fire department but to make

that should be avoided," said David Bell. "We encourage people to understand not only the

the two buildings accessible, we had to put in a third elevator and a third stair

significance of the property, but also building science. One should not treat a symptom, with-

in the other building," Poris said.

out understanding the underlying cause(s) of deterioration and distress. Blindly introducing air
conditioning and thermal upgrades, for example, can have unintended consequences on the

10

COMMERCI A L A RCHI T EC T URE

NOVEMBER 2017

commercialarchitecturemagazine.com


http://www.commercialarchitecturemagazine.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Architecture November 2017

The Architects
Preserve Or Restore?
Adaptive Reuse
Light, Sound Contribute to Comforting Experience
Access Flooring Saves Energy, Improves IAQ
Green Walls Welcome Restaurant Guests
High-Profile Ceilings
HVAC System Redirects Convent Resources
Lighting Complements 'Study Cascade' Design
Assembly-Plant Lighting Retrofit
Brewing Up Lighting
Have It All: Quality, Comfort, Efficiency, Cost Savings
Translucent Facade Highlights Learning
Historical Details, High-Performance Windows
Protecting And Enlightening History
Most-Wired Hospital Saves Big
Showcase
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Cover1
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Cover2
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 1
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 2
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 3
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 4
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 5
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - The Architects
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 7
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Preserve Or Restore?
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 9
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 10
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 11
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 12
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 13
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 14
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 15
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Adaptive Reuse
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 17
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 18
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 19
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 20
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 21
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Light, Sound Contribute to Comforting Experience
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 23
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Access Flooring Saves Energy, Improves IAQ
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 25
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Green Walls Welcome Restaurant Guests
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 27
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - High-Profile Ceilings
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 29
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 30
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 31
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 32
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 35
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - HVAC System Redirects Convent Resources
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 37
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 38
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 39
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 40
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Lighting Complements 'Study Cascade' Design
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 42
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Assembly-Plant Lighting Retrofit
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Brewing Up Lighting
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 45
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 46
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 47
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Have It All: Quality, Comfort, Efficiency, Cost Savings
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 49
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 50
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 51
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 52
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 53
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Translucent Facade Highlights Learning
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 55
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Historical Details, High-Performance Windows
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 57
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Protecting And Enlightening History
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 59
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 60
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Most-Wired Hospital Saves Big
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 62
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 63
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - Showcase
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 65
Commercial Architecture November 2017 - 66
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