|Year(s) Listed: • 2013|
|City/Town: • Wichita|
|Location Class: • Industrial|
|Built: 1924 | Year Saved: N/A|
|Awards: • Medallion Award|
|Contributor: Kansas Preservation Alliance|
The Luling’s City Laundry building was constructed in 1924 with the west addition completed in 1936. Newspaper articles lauded the company’s industrial advances with a water softener promising “clothing washed in softened water has a sweet-smelling freshness that is a constant delight”. Ironically the 1936 expansion coincided with the home washing machine industry’s eclipse of the industrial laundry market. Luling’s closed in 1961 and was leased to the locally owned Fisher Transmission, Inc.
Building Controls and Services, Inc.’s $1.2 million dollar project included removing unsightly suspended acoustical tile ceilings to expose steel trusses and clerestory windows along with their exposed mechanical operators. Additional work consisted of opening enclosed windows on the west elevation, converting the refrigerated fur storage vault into a conference room and refurbishing the vault door. The overall construction allowed rehabilitation of the building for offices in a way that was compatible with its historic industrial use.
The rehabilitation has inspired other property owners along East Douglas, who have formed the Douglas Design District to encourage the investment and promotion of approximately 300 businesses between Washington and Oliver. The project was also part of the re-branding of its occupant, Building Control Systems, a locally owned HVAC business founded in 1985.
Federal and state historic preservation tax credits were utilized to fund this rehabilitation.
The project team included Building Controls and Services Inc, SPT Architecture, Davis Preservation, Professional Engineering Consultants PA, Southwestern National Bank, Miller and Miller Construction, Central Air Conditioning Co, A & H Electric, Blake Clotia, Midwest Drywall, Lewis Street Glass and Contract Furnishings.