As a part of the Community Design Center fundraiser, patrons toured homes in the area of the 100 block of Gay Street. Sadly, time didn’t allow me to visit them all, which is what I would normally attempt, so I had to select.
My curiosity led me to the Three Feathers building, which didn’t seem as far along as I’d hoped. In the portion we were allowed to tour there just wasn’t much to see. I think the development is supposed to open this winter and to do so it will have to start making dramatic progress, soon.
The other choices paid off very nicely. First I visited Mickey Mallonee’s home on the top floor of the Emporium. I’d never seen a condo in that building that I recall and it was very impressive. Mickey, the former Director of Special Events warmly welcomed me in and was generous enough to answer all my questions. She’s lived in the home for the last six years and loves being in the city.
The arched windows along the front of her condo were my favorite feature, though we talked about the fact that the Three Feathers development will reduce her privacy. Still, it’s a great place with an excellent view toward the northwest and the entire condo is decorated beautifully.
Next I visited Kim Trent’s home in the same building. Kim, Executive Director of Knox Heritage has lived in the Emporium for the last four years and can’t imagine living out of the center city. She’s had to be creative in her two bedroom home as she has two children, two dogs and two cats with one bathroom.
Each of the children get a bedroom and she has a bed in the main room, making it more like a loft or efficiency apartment for her. She likes it that way so much that she said when her oldest moves out she won’t take the extra bedroom. No word on where the four pets sleep, but I’ll let you know if I find out.
Finally, I toured a home in the Fire Street Lofts at the insistence of my good neighbor, Mary. I’d seen at least one unit there before and I couldn’t imagine what could be so special about this one, but she seemed convinced I would love it, so I took a look.
The units at Fire Street Lofts are long and narrow. The ones I’ve seen, including this one, utilize partitions to separate rooms, with no floor-to-ceiling walls present. Exposed pipes and duct-work above give the real “loft” feel to the place and they tend to, as a result, be more modern and less traditional spaces.
This particular unit fit that description except for two things: The kitchen was off-set in the back, giving the condo an L-shape. And there were stairs which lead up to the roof, which is where the amazing part comes in. The condo features a large deck on top of the building with excellent views in every direction. It probably offers the closest and best view of the JFG sign of any spot in any building.
The family has not lived there long, having moved in from out of state, but they are loving both the condo and downtown, which will come as no surprise to the readers of this blog. So three homes within a building of each other and each of them are very different from the others. I’m always impressed when I see yet another style or design for a downtown home. I believe it to be true that if a person wants to live downtown there is a place that will appeal to them and there is likely an affordable option.