Architect: Charles Ertz/remodel: GBD Architects, 1929; remodel 2002
The Art Deco shell of the A.
B. Smith Automotive Building was retained for its Brewery Blocks remodel. The former auto dealership's concrete eagles watched stoically as a steel "parabuilding" (a building within the walls of the older structure) was put inside the outer shell and expanded upwards. The new exoskeleton's columns use the auto dealership's pilasters as guides, providing a visual tie-in to go along with the more substantial seismic joints connecting the structures.
Whole Foods occupies the ground floor, while above, sitting virtually on stilts, are floors of telecommunications hardware (complete with backup generators in the penthouse suite). Sitting atop the building is the cooling system for the entire Brewery Blocks development: towers and tanks producing thousands of gallons of chilled water that reduce energy consumption in other buildings by a substantial margin. It's a nice turnaround that a building originally devoted to the burning of fossil fuels is now devoted to such a "green" design.
* Due north of here (and also part of the Brewery Blocks) is the Louisa, an apartment building with a three-story base containing townhouse and retail space.