The Block House Cafe received an Excellence in Downtown Revitalization Award for “Best Adaptive Reuse” from Oregon Main Street on Oct. 7 during the Oregon Main Street Conference in The Dalles. This award is granted to the best adaptive reuse of a building that has outlived its former use. Paul Falsetto, architect on the project, was on hand to accept the award.
With a total renovation budget of close to $1.5 million, this project transformed a former church to a new use. The initial step was documenting the historic elements and condition of the building to inform construction, including the compatible new addition. The Block House Cafe, which started across Courthouse Square Park, has made the building their new home. This move has more than doubled their business, allowing hiring 4 new employees. The Block House is a draw for both local community members and visitors. Even more important is the boost in morale this project has given the community of Dayton. It is the first major construction project in years, adding to the good work in facade improvement and business remodeling already completed.
“This project has given a new life to one of Dayton’s beloved historic landmarks,” stated Kelly Haverkate, main street coordinator. “By utilizing this church structure in a new way we have allowed it to grow to meet the needs of its community. Instead of sitting vacant and deteriorating, new generations are able to truly enjoy the history and ambiance of this beautiful building.”
“The Block House Cafe Project exemplifies what we are looking for in this award category,” says Sheri Stuart, Oregon Main Street Coordinator. “It brought new life to an important building that had sat vacant for years while maintaining its historic character. It is fun to be there on a Sunday morning and see it bustling with locals and visitors enjoying brunch!”
The Awards Presentation was a highlight of the Oregon Main Street Conference, a popular semi-annual conference that brings together people with an interest in downtown revitalization.