restoring-historic-relics-01Renovating offices, retail establishments, schools and other commercial and industrial facilities are specialties of Halfacre Construction Company. Since the company’s inception, valuable experience has been gained in every phase of renovation projects — from demolition to reconstruction. While not widely known, historical renovations are also among Halfacre Construction Company’s repertoire of services.

restoring-historic-relics-02The construction company wrapped up renovations on the First Baptist Church’s large fellowship hall in Venice earlier this year. The original building was constructed in the 1950s. The project consisted of a complete interior renovation of the church’s fellowship hall, warming kitchen and restroom facilities. Halfacre Construction Company replaced the churches’ commercial warming kitchen, improved the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility to the restroom facilities, installed a new HVAC system and lighting fixtures as well as freshened up the space with updated paint and flooring. A historically significant, stained-glass window was also refurbished and reinstalled in the new design.

restoring-historic-relics-03Two other historical projects for the company included repairs for the Manatee County Courthouse and the Terrace Administration Building in Sarasota. In early January 2015, Halfacre Construction Company began historical renovations to the Manatee County Courthouse, which was recently completed in July 2015. The company also started on the Terrace Administration Building in early February 2015 on a yearlong, phased restoration project.

Originally built in 1912 and taking only 16 months to construct, the Manatee County Courthouse was one of the first buildings to be erected in Bradenton using reinforced concrete. The five-month project will restore the courthouse to its original glory with the correct finishes and vintage style but add the modern conveniences of air conditioning, fire protection and high-speed wireless internet.

restoring-historic-relics-04The plan of the historic courtroom emulates the design of a classic courtroom design, but there were no documents, pictures or other evidence to indicate what the original design looked like. The renovation included a raised, ADA accessible judge’s bench and balustrades, a 14-seat jury box to accommodate jury and alternates along with bench seating for an audience.

restoring-historic-relics-05The inmates at the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office refinished the existing benches through its work program. The finishes include wood wainscoting, paneling, oak jury chairs, terrazzo flooring and period-correct light fixtures and ceiling fans.

Sometimes the best things about renovation projects are the things that are discovered along the way. At the Manatee County Courthouse, crews discovered a circular staircase leading to the skybox above the judge’s bench. For years, no one knew how anyone could have climbed up to that box. Historians believe the box was used for security to sit in with shotguns to keep the crowd from becoming unruly during controversial court proceedings in the early 1900s.

restoring-historic-relics-06Located at 101 S. Washington Blvd. in Sarasota, the Terrace Administration Building, originally known as the Sarasota Terrace Hotel, was constructed in 1925 by Charles Ringling, president of the company. At 11 stories, 125 rooms and a construction cost of nearly $750,000, the Sarasota Terrace Hotel was touted as one of the finest in Florida. Since its construction, the building has been renovated several times.

The project included plumbing replacement, including replacing the existing cast iron water and vent piping with Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) as well as the existing copper domestic water piping with Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride (CPVC), and compliance ADA updates. During the duration of the renovation, all public services will remain functional and operational to the public.

restoring-historic-relics-07Existing group restroom layouts will be reconfigured from the mezzanine level to level 10 in order to provide for increased ADA accessibility while providing for new finishes throughout. Finishes will be selected to compliment the historical nature of the building and to comply with the requirements of the Historic Preservation Board.

Halfacre Construction Company solidly stands behind their work and reputation as a builder of excellence. One of the area’s oldest, most established, locally owned and operated private commercial construction company, Halfacre Construction Company takes pride in restoring these community relics for future generations. For more information, visit www.HalfacreConstruction.com.