Awards of Excellence:
715 Commercial Building

Year(s) Listed:
Location Class:
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Historic Designation: National Register of Historic Places
Contributor: Kansas Preservation Alliance

Located within the Emporia Downtown Historic District, 715 Commercial Street is also listed as a contributing building on the National Register. This brick two-part commercial block is two bays wide with two large window openings containing non-historic fixed aluminum-framed windows defining the bays. Before the project started, a non-historic storefront comprised of brick infill around a high-set display window and a recessed entrance occupies the first-story facade.

The historic character-defining features include: the dark brick facing; the shaped parapet; the cast stone embellishment in the form of parapet coping, belt courses, and windowsills; and the soldier brick courses on the upper façade wall, over each window, and over the storefront.

The two-story building is home to a retail space on the first floor with the second floor serving a business occupancy. A non-historic first floor storefront was removed, and an appropriate storefront installed as part of the project. A new stair from the first floor was installed from Commercial Street to the 2nd floor with its own entry. New mechanical, plumbing and electrical were also within the scope of work to transform the back ½ of the first floor to a coffee shop. The front ½ of the space remains a retail space for art work. The historic features of the first floor were highlighted with the renovation, including the original tin ceiling and wood floors. Architectural services were provided by Ben Moore Studio. The building is now the proud home to Gravel City Roasters, and Trox Gallery and Gifts.

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