THE LOFTS ON ROBERT – FARGO, ND

The Lofts on Roberts is an adaptive reuse of a four-story designated historic building in downtown Fargo, North Dakota. The original building was constructed in 1917 for the Smith Follet & Crowl Company, a menswear supplier. Offices, shipping and receiving were on the main floor with warehouse space on the upper 3 levels. The business closed in the late 70s and the building was subdivided for a variety of different office and storage uses over the next 30 years

In 2008 a renovation and adaptive reuse project was commenced with the goal of restoring the buildings original historic features in compliance with the Department of Interior requirements and redeveloping the building for mixed use with a restaurant space on the main floor and housing units above. DJR Architecture worked closely with the owner and the general contractor to carefully remove items during demolition and expose the original features and woodwork that remained.

The main floor which was designed as a restaurant space retained many of the historic features. The original pressed tin ceiling was removed piece by piece and numbered for reassembly following installation of a fire sprinkler system and fire rated floor construction. The original center wood stairs and railing were restored with new sections created using existing parts as templates. Original woodwork was stripped of paint and stained.

The upper floors were each divided into seven studio units, with all unit plans being different in order to work with the existing features. Exposed joists, beams and brick were cleaned and allowed to remain in each unit to maintain the integrity of the previous warehouse space.

The exterior of the building required significant amount of brick tuck-pointing, and some replacement of brick and stone sills. New metal clad wood double hung windows were installed and custom fabricated to match the original mullion patterns. The previous overhead doors on the alley side were replaced with windows which appear to be glass sectional doors to provide light to the private dining area.

The project was completed in 2009, was awarded historic tax credits, and has been very successful. The restaurant space is currently home to Mezzaluna, one of Fargo’s most popular fine dining restaurants.

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