The Avery Apartment building’s history began as two separate Queen Anne-style homes built before the turn of the century. A 1914 addition, rectangular in shape and two-stories in height, linked the two houses together and led to the conversion of the buildings into apartments. A third-story was built in the 1980s, above the central section during an office conversion plan that was never fully completed. The building then remained vacant until 1995. BlueSky Studio was retained to restore the building so it could be used to provide residency apartments for low to moderate-income tenants. The project was awarded a Historic Grant from the Colorado Historical Society and also received Historic Tax Credit from the federal government.
Since a suitable handicap entry at the Champa Street entrance was not possible without disruption of the historic facade and courtyard, the ground floor units were redesigned to make entry easy while meeting set accessibility requirements. A ramp and parking area were also designed at the rear of the building to aid with this process. BlueSky Studio was able to negotiate with the City’s Building Department on a number of code variances, significantly reducing the cost of the project while still updating the building to current life safety standards.
Due to a number of previous alterations and deterioration of the property during abandonment, extensive structural repairs were necessary. Creative details and structural issues were revamped to accommodate the new floor plan requirements of the owner. The Champa Street façade was restored to its early twentieth century look. Paint was removed to expose beautiful hard silica brickwork beneath and exterior trim and sophists were repaired and repainted. Since paint removal and repair of the softer sand brick proved too costly, an appropriate paint color was applied to the remainder of the building to complement it’s restored historic appearance.