One of the last remaining symbols of Kingston’s industrial past is undergoing change.
A Toronto-based company, RAW Design Architects, has started transforming the old Bailey Broom Factory at Rideau and Cataraqui streets.
Unless you find yourself in the area on a regular basis, the changes may have gone unnoticed. The historically significant front corner and a good portion of the main outer wall have been stabilized, as the company gets ready to restore and retrofit what remains.
Jon Jeronimus is the project’s architect.
“We’re getting a lot of calls and e-mails from people saying how interested they are in what we’re during and how happy they are that is being restored,” Jeronimus said. “As an architect, that feels really, really great because you don’t hear that all the time.”
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Jeronimus, who works for RAW Design, says restoring the industrial landmark will cost around $1.7 million. The building was a broom factory in the early 1900’s and was slated to be demolished in 2014, but was saved from the wrecking ball.
Because of that, the future is bright, Jeronimus says, but first comes the work.
“It’s a process,” he said. “Just figuring out and learning about the building and then applying the right kind of structural approach, architectural approach to the thing to get the spaces that we want and that the building wants on the inside. So that’s the really fun part of it.”
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The end result will be a mix of office space and a cafe. Officials are hoping to open the building by the beginning of 2020.