The City of Tallahassee is investing $1.3 million to renovate a 94-year-old deteriorated electric building that is located in Cascades park.
The electric building will become a restaurant named The Edison. The restaurant will have a“historic feel with a modern twist,” owner Adam Corey said.
Renovations will take nearly $3 million. Cascades Holdings LLC will invest $1.5 million, along with the city’s $1.3 million and Community Redevelopment Agency will invest $816,000 to this project.
The National Register of Historic Places found the old electric building has been renovated twice after being listed deteriorated by the Florida Master Sites File in 1975, 1978 and 1982.
Corey realized the building needed more work than he thought.
“When we first got involved in this, there was a lot of unanswered questions about the building. We didn't really know what it would cost to rehabilitate the building,” Corey said. “Originally we thought it would be a million, a million and two or a million and three. As we started to dive into it, we realized it was almost double the original amount.”
Originally built in 1921, the building’s outside structure shows little to no change. Corey has no doubt that the building will hold up.
“The building has good bones. In fact we had some testing done on the concrete itself and the concrete is very strong. The walls are strong, the foundation is good and we feel pretty good about its existence for the next 40 years,” Corey said.
The buildings rennovations will begin soon. Workers are expected to spend long hours, possibly six to seven days a week, to open the restuarnt in July.
Thomas Stanley, assistant project manager of The Edison’s renovations, says this project is going to be hard work.
“This project is going to take a lot of coordination from all the trades that are associated with this. Everybody from the arborist who is going to remove the trees in the front down to the masons who will be doing the inside and the outside work.” Stanley said.
Mayor Andrew Gillum and the City Commission gathered Friday for the ground breaking of The Edison.
“When an old building is torn down, a little piece of our city’s history gets torn down with it. Being that the building resides in Cascades Park, we thought it absolutely necessary to save and re-purpose this Tallahassee monument,” Mayor Gillum said.
This building, nearly 100 years old, has housed nothing but transients in recent years.