The Laundry, at Hemphill and West Peter Smith, has been around for almost one hundred years. It started as a commercial laundry in the twenties and has been through several additions, updates, and Owners. The additions include the closing of Travis Street in the early ‘60s, which used to bisect the block, and connecting the main building to a storage structure on the west side of the property, across Travis Street. The masonry rear wall of the original building is still intact, with the windows and doors removed to provide circulation. At some point, the original metal framed windows and much of the brick facing Hemphill street were covered over with field stone and the canopy roofs were removed and the openings bricked in.
The current Owners want to restore the 50,000 square foot building back to its original glory and have enlisted Quorum Architects to assist in this endeavor. The field stone cladding will be removed, exposing the original intact window frames and glazing behind it. The grooved brick veneer was a fantastic base for the mortar holding the field stone covering. Unfortunately, this also makes it almost impossible to clean out and will require a thin masonry veneer to be applied. Replacing the canopy roofs will complete the look. When finished, The Laundry should really complement the renovations and construction currently underway in this area.
One of several viable proposed uses for this building, once it is restored to its pristine state, would be to provide the amenities necessary for this growing urban residential area (e.g. a grocery store or eateries).
The Laundry promises to be a beautiful and useful addition to the Near South neighborhood.