In 1915, the Anderson Lumber Company built a water-powered cabinet mill on a branch of the Logan River. You still cross over the old canal with it heavy-timbered headgate to reach the historic mill. But rather than whirring turbines, today the building is filled with the whirring minds of the staff of Architectural Design West.
In creating its new office, Design West wanted the interior focal point to be the building's beautiful historic timbers. As you enter the mill, your eye is drawn up to the massive honeycolored Douglas Fir trusses and three and one-half inch thick tongue-and-groove decking. A clerestory loft floods this rough-sawn vault with light.
The work spaces are designed to enhance, not compete with, the mill's historic industrial feel. The open architects studios are divided from conference/seminar area by a free-standing, gently curved art wall. All the electronic necessities of a 21 st century office are offered in this historic setting.
In addition to rehabilitating a wonderful building, this project has enhanced Logan's Center Street National Historic District. Neighborhood residents are glad to see the abandoned building put back to use and enjoy the path system in the park-like landscape surrounding the mill. Moreover, the project serves as a model of successful adaptive use for historic buildings in Logan where few such projects have been undertaken.