Mid-century 'spherical' building in Museum District gets a facelift – Richmond.com

Skilled as an architect, Rick Hood for years appreciated the distinctive fashion of the spherical medical workplace building on the nook of Floyd Avenue and Thompson Road in Richmond’s Museum District neighborhood.

Hood, proprietor of pure and natural grocery retailer Ellwood Thompson’s Native Market, purchased the 1950s-period building in 2015 with plans to protect it.

After eight months of labor, the rehabilitation is completed, and the only-story, 2,200-square-foot building now homes Ellwood Thompson’s firm headquarters. The building is about a block from the favored market.

“By saving this distinctive building, I used to be preserving a precious piece of the neighborhood and historical past of our Museum District neighborhood,” Hood mentioned.

Authentic options stay, together with the customized-molded concrete block exterior that's trimmed with redwood, inside oak board partitions and customized-constructed furnishings hand-crafted by the unique proprietor.

“It’s a stunning building,” mentioned Walter Parks of Richmond-primarily based Walter Parks Architects, which created the restoration design.

“One of many challenges is it has pure wooden. Wooden ages over time. We wished to protect the wooden. We didn’t wish to substitute it,” Parks mentioned.

The house was modernized to incorporate handicapped-accessible bogs. As well as, air-con and heating methods, beforehand in a room in the again, have been positioned above the ceiling. To get that further peak wanted, the roof was raised in sure locations, Parks mentioned.

Preserving the house additionally saved a chapter of Richmond’s medical historical past.

The midcentury fashionable building was previously the medical places of work for Drs. William Harrison Higgins Jr., William Harrison Higgins III and Stuart Ragland Jr., who moved into the building in 1955.

Higgins was one of many first docs to open an workplace away from downtown Richmond.

“They got here right here they usually purchased this lot for $5,250,” mentioned Hood, who used copies of correspondence and different paperwork offered by furnishings designer Harrison Higgins, the son of the late William Harrison “Billy” Higgins III, to raised perceive the building’s historical past.

Framed copies of buyer invoices and different paperwork grasp across the restored building.

“Harrison’s father and grandfather have been in medical observe collectively downtown in the outdated medical arts building at Second and Franklin Streets. It was the youthful Dr. Billy Higgins … who mentioned, ‘Let’s transfer out to the West Finish,’ ” Hood mentioned.

“It was apparent (Billy Higgins) was very concerned in the small print of this building,” Hood mentioned.

The building was designed by architect David Yerkes of Washington, D.C., and price about $55,000 to assemble. The panorama was designed by famous panorama architect Charles Gillette.

“Gillette was identified for a lot of actually giant initiatives, and he did some small initiatives, too,” Hood mentioned.

Hood purchased the property from Billy Higgins’ widow by means of son Harrison Higgins with two situations hooked up: Hood would protect the building and Dr. Jack Ashworth, who joined Higgins’ observe in 1961, could be allowed to proceed to observe in the building so long as he wished.

Ashworth retired in February 2016 after greater than 50 years.

“(Ashworth) informed me ... the delight of gazing into the landscaped courtyard from his workplace warmed by the solar was a large purpose he stored working towards all these years,” Hood mentioned.

Ashworth, who attended an open home in early November, authorized of the modifications.

“It’s outstanding. It’s unbelievable,” Ashworth mentioned. “The furnace was proper right here,” he mentioned, standing in a central house that's now a giant multipurpose house accessible for cooking lessons and different actions.

“It’s mild and shiny and plenty of house,” Ashworth mentioned.

Harrison Higgins mentioned his household had provides through the years to purchase the property however waited for the correct purchaser. He described the restoration as “great.”

“That building was a labor of affection for my dad. He may have executed one thing a entire lot inexpensive, however he wished to do one thing good that kind of added to the town panorama,” Higgins mentioned.

“He was very happy with it and the architect, David Yerkes, turned one in all his greatest pals. Taking good care of that building has been kind of a given in our household.”

The building and land offered in January 2015 for $300,000, Richmond property information present.

Hood declined to reveal what it value to rehab the building, which homes Ellwood Thompson’s advertising crew and another administrative capabilities.

The building rehabilitation certified for historic tax credit, Parks mentioned.

Mimi Sadler of Sadler & Whitehead Architects additionally collaborated on the restoration. Dunlap & Companions Engineers did the mechanical and different methods work. J.A. Heisler Contracting was the overall contractor. Tom Brickman did specialty millwork, and Drew Harrigan, of 4 Winds Design, was the panorama architect. Native artist Emily Herr did the mural in the foyer.

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Mid-century 'spherical' building in Museum District gets a facelift - Richmond.com