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Scowcroft Building, Ogden

What does it take to renovate an empty 124,000 square-foot industrial building that has stood derelict for more than four decades in a difficult Ogden neighborhood? The answer involves a complex partnership, an urban renaissance, and a healthy dose of vision.

Joseph Scowcroft constructed the Scowcroft Building in 1906 as the headquarters for his large wholesale business. The demise of the Scowcroft Company in 1958 left the huge warehouse vacant in a depressed neighborhood. Visionary city leadership and federal laws encouraging re-investment in downtowns led to the renovation of Scowcroft's neighbor, the Boyle Furniture Warehouse, as a federal facility in 2003. So pleased was the IRS with its new historic home in Boyle, that it requested more downtown office space. The Scowcroft Building was the logical site for this facility.

The design-develop-build team of CRS Architects, Cottonwood Realty, and Jacobsen Construction tackled this complicated rehab project. Many groups participated in the project planning, including the General Services Administration, the Utah State Historic Preservation Office, and Utah Heritage Foundation.

The team sensitively adapted Scowcroft for office use while preserving its historic industrial feel. Original materials, including interior brick walls, heavy timber beams, wood plank ceilings, 17 types of windows, and a huge metal cylinder box slide were preserved. The building's exterior fabric was restored to match its appearance in historic photos. A sensitive new entrance was added to the east side of the building.

In addition to meeting historic preservation standards, the Scowcroft project utilized "green" building techniques. In fact, Scowcroft will likely be the first building in the United States to qualify for both federal historic rehab tax credits and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. Once a white elephant, Scowcroft now brings 1,100 employees to downtown Ogden each day.