PLAINVILLE, KANSAS FEATURED IN
Kansas shares a four-page spread with San Francisco, St. Louis and Middlebury,
Connecticut in the September issue of Inc. Magazine. Entitled "Once Again
with Feeling", the article features creative renovation projects where old
dilapidated structures are turned into dream office and manufacturing
facilities. The Plainville buildings photographed in the article currently house
the luxury furniture, fabric and lighting firms of the Dessin Fournir Companies.
The four Dessin Fournir Companies' office (4), warehouse and manufacturing facilities were chosen for their unusual heritage and innovative rebirths. A 1940s car dealership with underground garage is now the corporate headquarters for the Dessin Fournir Companies, a consortium of five high-end home furnishing enterprises that cater exclusively to the design trade. A trailer manufacturing shop was transformed from a welding site to a warehouse for the elegant textiles of Classic Cloth (1). A vacant meat locker complete with carcass rail and kill floor is given new life as a manufacturing facility for the renowned lighting firm of Palmer Hargrave (3) which relocated from Oxnard, California to Plainville in 2000. The oldest of the buildings featured, a frontier style1880s limestone structure (2), now hosts graphic designers and staff for the virtual version of a frontier general store, www.CSPost.com.
Each building's renovation was the design of Plainville native Chuck Comeau. "It is a challenge to take something old and turn it into an attractive structure where people want to be. You always have something architecturally and historically significant with an existing building. It takes a leap of faith but when completed it means so much more than building new," reflected Comeau, who is also a principal for Liberty Group, the primary developer for Hays' downtown revitalization project, the Chestnut Street District.
Plainville stood out among the other cities sited by having more than one
structure recognized and mention given to another eleven projects including
Hays. Current renovations in Hays by Comeau and the development firm of Liberty
Group include 201 East 12th, the former Coca-Cola bottling plant which is being
restored to its utilitarian roots as the new home for the historic Planing Mill.
The exteriors of 110 and 112 West 11th were completed by Liberty Group this
summer and interior work is underway for the Fall opening of Semolino Coffee
& Eatery and Eli's Room (a baby and children's furniture store). Renovation
of 1100 Main is in full swing for the autumn opening of Jack & Jill's on the
main level and the relocation of Kids Again in the basement. Deconstruction of
the historic Strand Theatre at 1102 Main has begun with renovations to follow.
Interior construction of 111-119th East 11th, the restaurant and microbrewery of
Gella's Diner and Liquid Bread Brewing Company will begin as soon as contractors
can be scheduled. Completed development projects by Liberty Group now host the
businesses of Salon Ten-O-Seven (1007 Main) and Simply Charmed (1011 Main).
To take a visual tour of the renovated structures featured in Inc. Magazine and those in Hays log on to www.ChestnutStreetDistrict.com/CSDPages/LearnDev.html.