Adaptive Reuse: Meeks, Ross, Selander & Associates

August 17, 2009 11 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Meeks, Ross, Selander & Associates, CPAs, LLC. is a professional service firm providing assurance, tax, financial advisory, and specialty consulting located in the Springfield Historic District. Established in 1992, the firm's first office was located in the Baymeadows area of Jacksonville's Southside. Attracted by the rapid redevelopment of Springfield, the firm purchased a former furniture warehouse building in the historic district in 2003.

Building History and Reuse

Before: Way Truth & Life Ministry on the SW corner of Laura and 4th Streets.

Originally constructed in 1955, the single story masonry building at 1354 North Laura was characterized by windowless block walls.  It was built for Kinkade Radio Supply.  During the 1960s and 1970s, the 7,420 square foot building was occupied by Aetna Office Furniture.  While vacant during the 1980s, the building housed a church called Way Truth & Life Ministry in the late 1990s before being purchased by Jack Meeks and JoAnn Tredennick in 2003.

The two year conversion of the old warehouse into an accounting office involved saving the building's structural components (i.e. masonry walls, etc.), while adding a new 1,500 square foot second floor.  The adaptive reuse project was completed in December 2005.  Today, this office building houses the offices of Meeks, Ross, Selander & Associates, on the first floor.  The second floor is home to the Law Offices of Moulton Bosshardt, LLC along with additional available leasible space.  

After: Designed by Anthony Jarzyna, with Jarzyna & Associates Architects, the project's design was heavily influenced by the American Arts and Crafts Movement.

American Arts and Crafts Movement

The American Craftsman Style, or the American Arts and Crafts Movement, is an American domestic architectural, interior design, and decorative arts style popular from the last years of the 19th century through the early years of the 20th century. As a design movement, its popularity remained strong until the 1930s, although in the decorative arts it continues to experience numerous revivals until the present day.

Common American Craftsman Style architectural design features include:

  • Low-pitched roof lines, gabled or hipped roof

  • Deeply overhanging eaves

  • Exposed rafters or decorative brackets under eaves

  • Front porch beneath extension of main roof

  • Tapered, square columns supporting roof

  • 4-over-1 or 6-over-1 double-hung windows

  • Frank Lloyd Wright design motifs

  • Hand-crafted stone or woodwork

  • Mixed materials throughout structure


The second floor addition can be seen from the back alley in the image above.

Gustav Stickley

The interior of the building features Craftsman style flooring, lighting, textiles, tile, pottery, and Gustav Stickley designed furniture.

In New York, Gustav Stickley was trying to serve a burgeoning market of middle class consumers who wanted affordable, decent looking furniture.  Using factory methods to produce basic components--and craftsmen to finish and assemble-he was able to produce sturdy, serviceable furniture that sold in vast quantities and still survives.  Stickley likened his artistic aesthetic to the experience of nature;

"...plan and arrange the room that the sense of space and freedom is always felt, and so to preserve the relation between the natural background of the walls and floor and the more prominent furnishings in the room that each part is given its own value and falls into its own place as naturally and inevitably as the trees, hills, valleys and brooks..."

Today Stickley's furniture is prized by collectors, and his factory still exists, producing reproductions of the original Stickley designs.

The lobby of Meeks, Ross, Selander and Associates

In addition to 1354 North Laura Street, the firm is redeveloping a residence next door which was constructed in 1901.  Located at 1342 North Laura Street, when complete, this structure will LEED certified and house office space.

In the last fifty years, our community has overlooked the potential of investing and redeveloping existing structures.  Meeks, Ross, Selander and Associates stands as a shining example of what can be done with existing structures, when creativity is embraced and implemented.

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Article by Ennis Davis