RENOVATION OF FORMER HOT SPRINGS POST OFFICE
After years of vacancy and neglect The Old Post Office Building had fallen into severe disrepair. Exterior restoration began with a thorough chemical cleaning of the building. Masonry was repaired and tuck-pointed matching original mortar colors. A basement entry ( added in the 1960′s ) which cut through the granite retaining wall and a window were filled in and repairs made. A loading dock addition at the rear was removed and a new entry reminiscent of the original was created. The original copper fascia was stripped of paint, repaired and left natural. The hip roof covering the original two-story portion of the building was re-roofed with “S” curve clay roofing tiles, matching originals found in the attic. A 16′ x 35′ hipped-roof skylight, matching the original was installed over the existing opening that had been closed in. Aluminum windows were removed and replaced with wooden windows fabricated locally to match the original.
The original interior spaces and finishes at The Old Post Office were regained after removing layers of inappropriate wall and ceiling treatments. The mail room has been retained as open plan offices while the public lobbies have been partitioned into private offices. Some original light fixtures found in the basement were rewired and reused. These fixtures served as models for new fixtures. Existing plumbing fixtures were refitted and reused, supplemented with new fixtures and fittings where necessary. The existing steam heating system was updated and placed into service.
The original coal fired boiler had been fitted for natural gas some time ago. It has now been retooled and modernized with electronic controls to reach an efficiency comparable to any new boiler.
The existing radiators have had individual controls installed so that each space can be heated according to its needs. In order to provide air conditioning without intruding on the original spaces, the existing “Postmasters Peepway ” was utilized as a high volume, low velocity ductway. It now contains variable volume fan-coil units which employ the existing viewing holes as supply air registers. Most of the original millwork had been painted several times over the years.
All existing ground floor millwork was stripped and refinished. Repairs to the existing wood work were made using quarter sawn oak to match existing. All new construction of walls, cabinets and counters was completed with wood detailing similar to the existing and painted to delineate the new from the old. After removal of the vinyl flooring the original maple floor was refinished.
The building currently houses the corporate offices of Selected Funeral and Life Insurance Company. The renovation of the 25,000 square foot building and grounds was completed in 1990 at a cost of $38 per square foot.