Title page for ETD etd-05272008-145438

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Lane, Jessica L
URN etd-05272008-145438
Title Adaptive Reuse: Produce Warehouse to Apartment Lofts
Degree Master of Architecture
Department Architecture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Gartner, Howard Scott Committee Chair
Casto, Marilyn D. Committee Member
Dugas, David M. Committee Member
  • Lynchburg
  • Bluffwalk
  • Adaptive Reuse
  • Atrium
Date of Defense 2008-04-29
Availability unrestricted
How do we begin to deal with urbanism in the 21st Century? We are no longer working with the tabula rasa that we were two-hundred years ago; we are dealing with leftover infrastructure. Perhaps we should alter our mindset from “creating” to “RE-creating.” We must accept the fact that cities have already been developed, they have already blossomed and many of them are now in late stages of decay. We must work with what is there now.

In the 19th Century, builders and politicians believed that in order to reform a culture, they must rebuild. However, unlike our ancestors, we can no longer build without thinking about what the construction’s future consequences will be. Environmental concerns are one of the major factors in today’s society regarding the idea of “proper urban form.” At the end of the industrial boom, many cities and urban centers have slowly started to become ghost towns of the industries that used to keep them alive. With fewer factory jobs, many families have moved outside of the city – they have become heavily reliant on vehicular transportation to and from the vast parking lots in front of their “big box” office buildings and shopping centers. Consumerism has also contributed to suburban sprawl which is quickly hastening our climate’s deterioration. We are rapidly using up our natural resources. In many instances, we are degrading the soil, deforesting our landscape, and destroying important eco-systems, like rainforests and glacial formations. We are using them up faster than they can repair themselves. Because our environment is NOT an unlimited resource, we need to begin to be more proactive about the way we let people treat our home. We must find ways to reduce the effects of what we do and what we have already done. We must create a means of reducing our footprint on the earth. We must find proper ways to dispose of our waste. We must stop sprawling outward, when there are plenty of well-built structures that we can begin to adapt, renovate and re-use.

This project examines an instance in Lynchburg, Virginia – wherein a turn-of the century produce-warehouse has outlived its purpose and now faces a turning point. I propose that we make use of its sturdy walls, floors and interesting character and give it a 21st Century purpose.

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