The Town of Middletown, MD had an existing memorial for local World War II veterans that was dedicated in 1947. After more than 50 years in the elements, the plaques were in need of a touch up. In an ongoing effort that began in 1999, Middletown and local Amvets Post 9 began efforts to refurbish and expand the memorial. The original plaques were restored, flagpoles added to represent the five branches of the armed services (plus one each for POW-MIA and the US flags), and new granite monuments were erected with the names of servicemen and women who made sacrifices for their country from World War I through Iraq and Afghanistan.
Tucked between the historic Masonic Temple, Tristate Building, Walker House, and Schindel Rohrer, is a 200 space precast concrete parking deck. Located in Hagerstown’s Downtown Arts & Entertainment District, the downtown city square and Historic Maryland Theater are within a block of the parking deck. The parking deck’s ideal location improves connectivity between parking and downtown attractions. It connects directly to the Potomac Walk Building’s Trader’s on the Potomac retail shop, Bulls & Bears restaurant, and office space, and has direct access to South Potomac Street.
The site slopes dramatically from front to back, which allows this five story structure to remain hidden from South Potomac Street, the main thoroughfare through downtown Hagerstown. In keeping with the historic nature of the parking deck’s surroundings, brick veneer was cast into the precast concrete panels and antique style light fixtures were selected for the walkway between the deck and the Schindel Roher building. The parking deck elevator provides handicapped accessibility to the adjacent buildings, where not possible previously.
Braddock Heights Volunteer Fire Department staff is expanding, meeting the needs of the local community and its safety. Their previous facility only accommodated three bunks, with limited community space for increased staffing. The existing facility has been expanded in the past with little attention to internal flow and aesthetic cohesiveness of the architecture. The Building Committee stressed the importance of a unified exterior façade, and improvement of the interior layout to meet their current expansion needs and those in the future.
The renovation and addition add a larger community area, six person bunk room, dedicated Fire Chief bunk room, weight room, and a large training room for its staff. The existing building has multiple roof pitches and flat roofs, resulting in an awkward façade arrangement in a Victorian style community. The addition conceals those awkward roofs, and unifies the exterior appearance with a barrel vault roof and stick built brackets to compliment the surrounding environment. The exterior CMU color chosen was red, in contrast to the existing tan CMU. The color change creates a focal point to the building and enhances the primary entrance for visitors.