For the third installment of the 2012 City People Downtown Home Tour, I’ll take you through what I saw and learned at the Residences on Market Square and Cook Loft.
We’ll start with Cook Loft which is the top floor at 722 S. Gay Street on the opposite corner from the Bijou. The bottom floor of the building is occupied by the Laurel Mountain Eatery, a sandwich shop open Monday through Friday for lunch. The building was built in 1924 and has been host to a large array of businesses. A separate door from the restaurant opens onto a pretty stiff set of stairs leading upward to the loft.
The loft is beautiful with exposed brick and hardwood in every direction. A fortune went into the flowers which make the place look even more gorgeous. Stylishly decorated from front to back (and that’s quite a distance), it presents itself in a very appealing fashion. Thomas Hensley hosted the gathering and I’d spoken to him in the past about the loft. He told me that the unit is often rented to musicians who play the Bijou Theater. Urban Woman overheard him mention Allison Krause, presumably in the same connection.
He’d also told me of a family which rents the space every Thanksgiving for an annual gathering of extended relations. Walking through the loft, it was easy to understand the appeal. The front, facing Gay Street, features a massive television and comfortable seating. Going back into the condo, a long table which could just as easily serve as a conference table for a business retreat as well as dinner to a very large group of musicians or family, is situated adjacent to the beautiful kitchen.
One of the touches in the kitchen, which is carried through to the back bedroom is the use of metal ceiling tiles as an accent. It worked very well, both with the modern kitchen as well as with the brick wall in the bedroom. The floors are, of course, hardwood throughout. The bathroom is luxurious and no subtle touch seems to be left undone.
The Residences at Market Square are an interesting set of living spaces. I chronicled unit 401 last year and noted that I really do like the interior. I also mentioned that I’m no fan of the exterior and I still feel that way. Finished in 2007, they look a bit bland and modern to me. Still, I do love the units I’ve visited and the location, while not on Market Square as the name implies, are just around the corner or down the street from most anything you might want. The ground floor has in recent months become occupied by some of the coolest businesses going, such as The Tree and Vine, Nothing Fancy and The Casual Pint.
It’s one of, if not the only example, of new housing construction in the city in many years. That is, not housing placed in an older building, but built from the ground. The twenty-four units are, interestingly, placed on one end of the Market Square Parking Garage. What makes this especially interesting to mention at this time is that the proposed garage just across Walnut from these homes could also include shops and homes but, so far, no commitment has been made to do anything similar. As the fully occupied and now completely sold out units at the Residences demonstrates: Mixed Use Works!
The home was lovely, with views of the Sun Sphere and the L and N out the western side and a great view of the skyline of the city to the south. The balconies are perfect for a couple and the interior offers a perfect picture of modern living. One of the bedrooms in the unit included very traditional furniture and a great seating area beside a window which opened to let in a great breeze. The other bedroom leaned in a more funky, retro direction and indicated the presence of a young free spirit.
The kitchen featured granite and modern appliances concentrated in a very small space. Cabinet space being very limited, the owners, who have only occupied the unit for a few months, came up with a very clever storage solution by hanging metal pipes for their pots and pans. Blending with the exposed pipes built in to the condo, it looked completely natural.
Without doubt, the location could not be better and the units have some very attractive features. The balconies hanging over Union Avenue just off Market Square are some of the very best located balconies in the city in my opinion. It’s probably, in combination with the views, the best feature of the homes.