Loren Wood Builders Office & Workshop
We purchased this 100-year-old limestone building in mid-2020 to be our new LWB headquarters. It had originally been built by The Bloomington Limestone Company for use as their main offices and drafting center. Over the subsequent years, it had been occupied by Hoosier Outdoor Advertising and then, most recently, by Cardinal Stage Company.
Aside from the centralized location, some of the things that appealed to us most about this building were the beautiful original limestone work and the functionality of the space. Beyond that, the building had never been renovated and aside from some floor coverings and paint, the entire building was in its original form and condition. All of the original woodwork, door hardware, and windows remained intact.
Because our use of the space would be very similar to the original use of the building, we did not need to make any major structural changes to the building. Frankly, that was lucky for us, as all of the framing (interior and exterior walls, floors, and ceilings) are concrete and would have been very challenging and costly to move. Furthermore, being able to update the space, while preserving the original architecture of the building, both inside and out, had a huge emotional appeal to us.
One added value of the concrete structure is that there had been no settling in the structure over the last 100 years, which meant that all of the original doors and morticed door hardware worked perfectly. It is often the case in old stick-framed structures that settling necessitates lots of work on doors and reconfiguring and shoring up to make old hardware, doors, and framing functional. In this case, everything was already in perfect working order.
Over the last two years, we have refurbished the entire building, while keeping all of the original exterior windows and door hardware and doing our best to clean them up and repair them, as needed. We refinished all of the interior doors, base, and casing, and Evan Knipstine from our team polished and refurbished every bit of the original door hardware throughout the building.
We worked with PHANOMEN Design on the interior finishes and they helped to provide updates to the interior look and feel that helped tie our aesthetics and our use of the space while honoring the historic nature of the building. Also, Commercial Services played a huge part in helping us move this project along with their support and expertise, and we are very grateful for their hard work.
During the renovation, we were able to introduce a bunch of special elements, including locally sourced reclaimed wood provided by Bluestone Tree for our desks and conference table, hand-painted signboards that had been left on-site by Hoosier Outdoor when they owned the space, and custom wall coverings in our entryway and conference rooms.
We are just thrilled to be able to call this space home and committed to being good stewards of the space for the people who come after us.
Photos by: Nolan Calisch