Craig King and wife Cindy were looking to purchase a new building for the family’s 100-year-old business, J. P. King Auction Company. When they saw a building at 414 Broad Street in downtown Gadsden’s Historical District, it was possible to envision it for their offices on the lower level and luxury loft apartments above.
The couple employed Gadsden architect B. Craig Lipscomb to renovate the 6,250-square-foot, two-story building for their auction company headquarters with upscale apartments on the second level while maintaining as many of the historic building’s original elements as possible.
Their efforts were recognized with a 2018 Main Street Alabama Award of Excellence for Architectural Design.
Constructed sometime between 1888 and 1894, the building housed many businesses over the years including a dry goods and a dress shop. The red brick masonry building has a recessed front entry with show windows. Second story windows feature stone jack arches with keystones. The façade is capped by a molded pressed cornice with console brackets at the sides decorated with acanthus leaves and lions heads in bas relief.
The interior first floor structural brick side walls have been left exposed and clear sealed. The entry floor is black and white hexagonal ceramic tile work. On the second level, the original hardwood floors and plastered walls were left intact.
The building was determined to be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historical Places and qualified for the Wallace Property Relief Constitutional Amendment (Lid Bill) for reduced ad valorem tax. In addition, the city of Gadsden provided a grant for Facade improvement in the amount of $2,250 and $5,000 per apartment.
Craig says their award-winning restoration project was a valuable learning experience.
“We love the old architecture of downtown Gadsden and my wife Cindy and I loved that we were able to restore a historically distinctive building like this that was going into disrepair,” he explains.
“Newer construction does not have the character of the older historical buildings, and we hope that more incentives will become available in the future to assist other developers to be able to make restoring older buildings a more viable investment.”
Image 1: The 6,250-square-foot, two-story brick masonry building features a recessed front entry with display windows. The restoration project received the 2018 Main Street Alabama Award of Excellence for Architectural Design.
Image 2: Gadsden architect B. Craig Lipscomb renovated the building as headquarters for J.P. King Auction Company. The second level was transformed into luxury loft-style apartments.
Image 3: The interior first floor structural brick side walls have been left exposed and clear sealed. Over the years, the building was home to many businesses including a dry goods and a dress shop.
Image 4: As many of the historic building’s original elements as possible were kept intact during the renovation project including the ornamental hardware.
*Article Written By Jessica Armstrong and Images Courtesy of J.P. King Auction Company