The historic renovation breathes new life into the iconic landmark, dedicated to honoring the life and legacy of Madam C.J. Walker. As one of the earliest mixed-used buildings of its kind, the original structure housed the production factory and headquarters for Madam Walker’s cosmetic company.
The revitalization of this former Columbus City Schools elementary began with an initial feasibility study and resulted in a complete renovation of the 51,894 sq. ft. historic facility as well as a 15,658 sq. ft. addition. The Reeb Avenue Center serves as a multipurpose community center for Southern Gateway neighborhood of Columbus, providing early childhood education, other educational services, support services for families, job training and workforce development.
The Lerner Theatre, a 1924 Beaux Arts, Adam-style structure formerly used as a movie house and Vaudeville theater, no longer met today’s needs for an entertainment venue. A feasibility study suggested that the facility be modified to accommodate a wide range of new uses. The program for the building’s adaptation included the following events: music and theatrical performance, lectures, corporate meetings and trade shows, community events and special special movie screenings. These new uses required significant modifications to the historic structure and a major new addition that would house a ballroom for 600, an expanded lobby for intermissions and pre-function activities, administrative offices and mechanical and ancillary support spaces.
Moody Nolan led the renovation, addition and partial demolition of East High School, a school that was originally constructed around 1921, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Renovations to the original building included massive exterior cleaning and repair of limestone on three sides of the neoclassical and historically sensitive building. The major addition was designed to be compatible with the original building and included a gymnasium and connecting atrium between the original and new addition. The original school is approximately 140,000 sq. ft. and the addition added nearly 40,000 sq. ft. New measures were also designed and implemented to make the building more accessible. Elevators and ramps replaced the main stair only entrance at the front of the school making the building completely accessible.
Moody Nolan served as both Historic Designer and Architect of Record for the transformation of Linden-McKinley High School into the new 7-12 STEM Academy for the Columbus City Schools. The facility included the demolition of existing additions leaving the original 1927 historic facility to be renovated. A 74,805 sq. ft. addition added new middle and high school classrooms and athletic facilities.