|Context - The project is located on the southeast corner of Olive Avenue and Cajon Streets in Redlands, California. Known at the turn of the last century as “God’s Corner”, the other three corners are occupied by historic Redlands churches - The First Baptist, First Congregational and First United Methodist. Trinity Episcopal Church, which owned the 4th corner, moved from that location in 1904 and a Mission Revival Style mortuary was built in its place. In 1914, the mortuary was sold to the YMCA. The YMCA, which later would become the Y-Alliance, added an activities building in 1938 and a modern lobby in 1979. Chair of the Redlands Historic and Scenic Preservation Commission, Judith Hunt, called the structure a “hodgepodge” because of the additions and was supportive when the current owner opted to demolish the additions to make room for the parking required to change the building’s use to office.
Program/Scope - The owner is a church insurance company. Their program included the demolition of the 1938 and 1979 additions, the restoration and adaptive reuse of the original 1904 Mission Revival structure and a new addition in a style compatible with the original structure. The addition includes office space, an employee lounge and a new entry, which is now located off both the new rear parking and a street front courtyard. The scope of work also included interiors. The project totals 8,550 square feet.
Budget/Cost - $1,000,000
Special Challenges/Unusual Characteristics - The original structure had been neglected and poorly added on to and over years, creating the “hodgepodge” of architectural styles which detracted from it’s historic significance. The amalgamation of original structure and subsequent additions occupied the entire site, limiting the building’s usage due to current parking requirements.
Solution/Design - The overall design was conceived of as a new commercial building. All additions to the original structure were removed, satisfying current parking requirements for office occupancy. The 1904 structure was restored to its original condition, with minor functional modifications. The new, passive solar addition uses the architectural elements and details of the Mission Revival structure. It is designed as a garden pavilion wing, complimenting the hierarchical massing of the original. Open beamed ceilings, not identical to but sympathetic with the original architectural vocabulary, give the overall composition a current but cohesive, hopefully timeless, character. The shaded, landscaped courtyard, open to the street, provides a public amenity which accentuates and frames the historic portion of the project.