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CRANE APARTMENTS
Saint Paul, Minnesota

The Crane Ordway Building stood vacant for over 30 years before construction began in fall of 2005. This project preserved a historically significant building, brought 70 units of very affordable apartments to the heart of an emerging downtown neighborhood and introduced 'loft style' apartments to the Twin Cities affordable housing community. Restoration of the building included reconstruction of the detailed masonry work at the main East Fifth Street entrance, restoration of the neighboring iron and glass stair, and refurbishment of the unique horizontal pivoting wood windows; all of which helped to preserve the Crane Ordway Building for decades to come. The rigid structural grid and window position high on the wall provided a framework for the overall building design. This layout included raised platforms to elevate the living area floor closer to these windows. This relationship increased residents' connection to the exterior, including sunlight, views and fresh air. Exposed concrete columns, beams and ceiling structure established a starting point for expression of the industrial character of the building. Finished floors of concrete and industrial style light fixtures further support this style. This building is an asset to the Lowertown neighborhood in St. Paul. The 70 new residents enhance the vitality and safety of the neighborhood. The community room within the building also provides a large space for the entire neighborhood to use and enjoy.

CONSTRUCTION COST
Approximately $8,145,000

TEAM
OWNER: Aeon
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Frerichs Construction

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Cermak Rhoades Architects