Just off Main Street in historic downtown Ames, Iowa, sat an Art Deco style bank whose integrity had been compromised after years of parceled tenantship and renovations. That was until 2015 when 10Fold Architecture and Engineering decided to reclaim the local landmark for their own office. Their effort was ultimately honored with a 2016 City of Ames Award for Historic Preservation for Adaptive Reuse.
The 3,900 square foot building was initially constructed in 1941 by architect Moorman & Company for the Stafford Bank which later became Ames Savings and Trust Bank. Its defining features were its voluminous sixteen-foot-tall center lobby, glass block windows on the north facade, and cream and green colored terrazzo floor. Decades later the bank was sold, partition walls and floor coverings were installed over the original terrazzo floor and the ceiling was lowered to 9 feet, and a north window was converted into an entrance.
With the help of a $75,000 Main Street Iowa Challenge Grant through the Iowa Economic Development Authority as well as an $11,000 City of Ames Façade Grant, 10Fold was able to restore the original grandeur of the bank space while also introducing new elements that reflected an architect’s studio. Relying on historic photography, the process began by returning the interior’s proportions back to their original design by gutting all non-original features and finishes. Similarly, an effort was made to restore the rhythm of the exterior façade by replacing the non-original exit door with a replicated window.
A number of original construction features were also re-purposed through creative solutions. This included the reuse of several doors and salvage of the original vestibule marble wainscot which was refinished and repurposed into new kitchenette counter tops. 10Fold also interjected modern finishes and design elements that told the history and character of the original building. Glass screen walls that line the studio space depict abstracted black and white historical photography of the building in its original form.
Glass also enabled the repurposing of once private spaces into open or semi-private areas. On the main level, the two offices that flanked the entry were converted into a conference room, administrative assistant work area, and office space. On the mezzanine level, the window overlooking the office was expanded to add to a greater sense of collaboration and daylight.
3,900 SF Renovation