A proposed penthouse addition to the Galleria Building has gone in front of the Historic Landmarks Commission to receive Design Advice. The project is being designed by SERA Architects for Unico Properties.
The building at 600 SW 10th Ave was built between 1909 and 1910 for the Olds, Wortman & King department store. In 1975 the building was purchased by Bill and Sam Naito, who converted it into a multi-tenant shopping center. The largest tenant currently located in the building is Target, which opened in 2013. The building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1991.
In January of this year it was announced that the Bill Naito Company had sold the Galleria to Unico Properties for $64.1 million.
Following their acquisition of the building, Unico plans to renovate the office space at levels four and five, which currently sit vacant. The penthouse addition would create a sixth floor, with new office space and exterior terraces. Target would remain in the space they occupy at the lower three levels. Work at the ground level, not yet shown in the drawings, could include upgrades to the NE corner storefront, additional canopies and new retail entrances.
The proposed penthouse would be approximately 16′ tall, making the addition 8′ taller than the existing 8′ tall parapets. The penthouse walls would be set back 18′ from the parapet, which would completely hide it when viewed from the immediately adjacent streets.
Existing mechanical equipment would be replaced with smaller, more efficient units in a screened enclosure, freeing up room for the penthouse. The penthouse roof would have photo-voltaic panels. A faux water tower in the location of a historic water tower, added in 2017 to conceal RF antennas, would remain.
An atrium at the center of the building once extended to the ground floor, however earlier remodels infilled the floors at the lower levels. The atrium now starts at level 4, and would be extended to the new 6th floor as part of the addition. The creation of the new sawtooth skylight would require the removal of an existing skylight, which has been re-glazed over the years but is otherwise original to the building.
The addition to the Galleria went in front of the Historic Landmarks Commission on March 25th, where it was well received. As noted in a summary memo, the Commission appreciated that the addition would have a minimal visual impact to the historic structure while improving the “landmark’s presence from adjacent taller structures by cleaning up the existing roof.”
The one aspect of the project where there was a level of concern was about the removal of the historic skylight:
The Commission noted that if the existing skylight is not mentioned in the nomination, the removal of it might be supportable. It is helpful that the new roof will provide daylight into the lightwell, and it was suggested that the new roof lights try to maintain a stronger connection to the existing skylight beyond just allowing light into the same lightwell, to let users know what was there before. It was also suggested considering keeping the original steel structure in-situ as a relic.
More information regarding what parts of the skylight are original (i.e. the steel trusses, steel frames and glazing), and the existing skylight’s significance in the Nomination is needed. The Commission noted that raising the existing skylight up to the new roof level might be viewed as conjectural, as well as expanding its footprint.
In order to gain approval the addition to the Galleria will be required to go through a Type III Historic Resource Review, with public hearings in front of the Design Commission.