Well, it’s not the craziest idea and it’s even been done in Kansas.  This building, a cold storage facility, is located at Ninth and Grant and it’s ready for adaptive reuse as a loft. The building was constructed ca. 1920 as Plant No. 2 by the National Ice and Storage Company of San Francisco. Plant No. 1 was located at 5th and Naughten in downtown Columbus. Plant No. 1 was used to make ice and as cold storage for eggs, apples, and poultry. Plant No. 2 probably served a similar purpose. The Plant No. 2 complex is remarkably intact. The outbuildings and Cleveland, Chicago, Cincinnati & St. Louis Railroad (The Big Four railroad) siding are all present. The site does not seem to be appreciably altered since it was built.  According to brick trade publications at the time the icehouses were one and two of three major brick building projects that year, the third project was the Columbus Athletic Club building on Broad Street. Both icehouses are reinforced concrete superstructures with brick and tile curtain walls. Insulation was, and may still be provided by 5 inches of cork in the walls. Adaptive reuse isn’t as horrific as it might seem. Since the brick  and tile walls are not structural windows are easily added. Cold storage facilities have been converted in lofts in other cities and have even taken advantage of federal historic preservation tax credits such as this example in Kansas City:

http://www.kc-lofts.com/bldgs/coldstorage.htm

Weinland Park Lofts on Grant, coming soon!

The small red addition is the original office building for the complex. The complex is currently used by the Rice Paddy, a purveyor of Japanese motorcycle parts.

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