Digital Concept Renders Offer First Look at Changes Coming to Woolworth’s Building | New
They said early on that it wouldn’t be the Moneywise building. It’s the Woolworth building.
The iconic red ribbon sign was going nowhere, they said. Neither the Woolworth’s lunch counter nor the long row of windows on 19th Street that will transform the first floor into a kind of transparent fishbowl, where shoppers and coffee drinkers will replace goldfish.
Nearly a year has passed since David Anderson and Sherod Waite, the co-owners of Moneywise Wealth Management, announced they were buying the iconic 1950s reinforced concrete structure in downtown Bakersfield, complete with corner elegantly curved and its modern architecture.
Now, for the first time, Anderson, Waite and their architect, Daniel Cater, are giving The Californian readers a look at some digital renderings that can help bring their concepts for the building’s future appearance to life, inside like outside. .
“It’s really a celebration of the late modern architectural style,” said Cater, who is clearly in love with the building and its enormous potential.
“It’s a gem in a city that has lost many of its gems,” he said of the three-story design built in 1949.
Elements of late modernism emerged from the art deco period, Cater said, but with the changing times a shift to a more streamlined and modern look, clean but still retaining a sense of theatricality with its subtle curves and ornaments .
The Sill Building, at the northwest corner of 18th Street and Chester Avenue, is another prominent downtown building whose architecture was influenced by Late Modernism, Cater said.
Cater, who grew up in Bakersfield, designed the 17th Place Townhomes, just a few blocks east of Woolworth’s. But being involved in this latest project, he said, is a dream come true.
“It’s one of those things you hope to do in your life,” he said. “I feel very lucky.”
The three men warned readers to realize that the digital images are conceptual, that the finished product will likely, almost certainly, be different, in some cases very different.
This may particularly apply to the lunch counter, where the owners plan to retain the original fixtures, features, and bar stools.
The render isn’t a perfect reflection of that vision, Anderson said. “Everything that was original at the lunch counter will remain.”
For example, the rendering shows four-legged stools at the counter, but in reality, the original upholstered bar stools are cherished by the owners.
A few changes to the lunch counter are coming.
The luncheonette’s checkerboard floor and memorabilia that most people are familiar with was actually added in the 1990s, Cater and Anderson noted.
“It was a 1950s cartoon,” Anderson said.
What Anderson, Waite, and Cater intend to do is rely more on how the lunch counter looked in the 1950s rather than the 1990s.
The design of the building’s exterior is guided by this same philosophy – taking the building back to its roots, but avoiding turning it into a museum.
“This building will house Moneywise,” Waite said. “But the things that we think can happen with the building and its impact on the community are really exciting.”
With the exception of a small visitor center at the K Street entrance on the first floor, Moneywise’s offices will be on the second floor.
The vision of the third floor is residential. Anderson and Waite had three residencies in mind, but those projects are still ongoing.
The first floor will have a market hall design, an open concept where independent local vendors will sell food or goods. A much larger and very popular example is the Grand Central Market in downtown Los Angeles.
Waite said he would like to see several of Bakersfield’s best-known brands represented, maybe Dewar’s or Rosemary’s, maybe Smith’s Bakery and Dagny’s Coffee.
The expanse of windows on 19th Street will enhance the exchange of energy between those inside and those walking the sidewalks outside.
“The idea is for people to see straight into the building. There will be a really good indoor-outdoor relationship,” Cater said of the Woolworth’s ground floor.
But the basement, they hope, will be another kind of gift to the community, a place to showcase Bakersfield’s musical heritage in its contemporary form. And even a studio to record local artists and musicians.
The building is a look into the past even as it opens the community up to new possibilities, Anderson said.
“Music is our favorite part of Bakersfield’s history,” he said, and the music-centric concept will help honor that heritage.
“Looking back, we respect our musical heritage,” he said, “even as we look to the future.”
Reporter Steven Mayer can be reached at 661-395-7353. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter: @semayerTBC.