General Machine / Jefferson Street Apartments
Contractor H.A. Maine began construction on this building in July of 1913. As the neighboring building was built around the same time, they melded together and used the similar materials in their facades. The building held apartments on the second floor, while the main floor was occupied by an assortment of businesses over the years including General Machine and Supply Company, a grocery store, Repass Automobile Company, Wolf Chemical Company, Iowa Tire and Specialties Company, Havel Used Auto Sales, Midway Food Market, L. H. Price Mercantile Company and more. The building was in good use until a fire struck the upstairs apartments in the late 1990s, then with heavy smoke damage, the upstairs was boarded up and sat vacant for several years while the main floor housed a bar.
Exterior photos (below) taken during an initial site visit give some idea as to the amount of work that needed to be done.
Trying to stay as true as possible to the original apartment layouts posed some interesting challenges to make them fit with today's world. Every apartment has a full kitchen and bathroom as well as stacked laundry. Several closets were added where none existed. A second set of switchback stairs was added into a tight space to comply with egress codes. The building that stood only partially unusable for several years has been brought back to life.