Loveless Porter Architects will be breathing life back into two Center Street buildings that are on the City of Manassas Historic Landmarks list: Austin House and Methodist-Episcopal Church, South, both built in the early 1900s. This project is particularly exciting, as the former church (and also one-time bellydance studio), will come to life as our new office space, showcasing our design sensibilities within the limits of the Historic Nature of the structure and Architectural Review Board.
When completed, the project will still respect the existing massing, or general shape, of the building. Our plan adds a circle window on the Center St. elevation that relates to the structure across the street, and we designed the exterior finishes so that the rear addition still looks like an addition from an earlier time, as opposed to trying to make it blend in. Other features include a brick water table along the base of the main building, and brick around the entry feature to create a more formal entry point. We will replace shingles with a standing seam roof, which the building likely had originally. We also included the use of a wider trim around the new windows and doors, with the new plain-sawn, hardie-board siding that was a common wood application in it’s time.
Some modern amenities we have added are LED exterior lights to give the façade more interest, and replacing the old wood windows and doors with aluminum-wrapped material, while still maintaining the aesthetics of the original look. Elements such as color and exterior material choices will add additional visual interest. See the renderings below for a glimpse of what to expect.
We purchased the land and buildings, so this also represents an even deeper commitment to our roots in Manassas. Our business has grown with the city over many decades, and we plan to be here for many more. Through our increased involvement in local groups such as Leadership Prince William, Semper K9 and CASA CIS, this has become home for Loveless Porter Architects even more so. It is also well-located for reaching our client base throughout the Washington, DC metro and Piedmont areas.
Avery Construction Company, a full-service commercial general contractor, will be our partner in rehabilitating the buildings. Avery was the contractor on Trussler Hall, Loveless Porter’s current location, and has worked with us on a number of projects throughout the years. Our friends at Avery said: “We look forward to teaming with Sean Porter and the staff at LPA to deliver another successful historical building renovation project in the historic downtown area of Manassas.”
We tentatively plan for a late summer opening. Keep an eye for plenty of progress updates in the meantime!