We’ve always had a soft spot for 1747 Christian St., a building that housed the neighborhood Post Office once upon a time. In 2005, as development in the neighborhood was reaching a fevered pitch, it wouldn’t have been a surprise at all to see a developer come forward with a plan to demolish the existing building and replace it with new construction row homes. Instead, a developer opted to preserve the building, and add a second story.
As you can see in the best photo we could find of this building, taken in 1959, it was originally a one-story structure. For years, we knew that the building had served as a Post Office, but we never suspected that the second floor wasn’t originally there. Looking carefully though, you can see that the second floor bricks are not exactly the same color as the originals.
This building is a great example of a certain type of adaptive reuse. Someone walking or driving by could pass by it over the course of years (like us) and never realize that the building is any different on the outside than the day it was built. Not to say that all adaptive reuse has to give the impression that the building has always looked just so, but this approach is quite successful in this location. For a smaller building in a largely residential neighborhood, it strikes just the right balance.
In case you’re wondering, the building now has five condo units that range in size from about 1,300 sqft to about 2,500 sqft. One was recently on the market, but got taken off last week. Which means we once again missed our chance to live in an old Post Office. Bummer.