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ESTABLISHED IN 1826, Senoia, Georgia is located about one hour south of Atlanta. With a historic main street and quiet neighborhoods showcasing examples of classic southern architecture, Senoia has maintained a charming, small town atmosphere. The city’s proximity to Atlanta, however, along with an abundance of undeveloped land, puts it directly in the path of encroaching development.
In 2005, Senoia’s City Planner decided to take a proactive approach to protect the character of the community from haphazard growth. City officials and community stakeholders began working with Historical Concepts to establish a guiding vision for the future of Senoia. Historical Concepts studied the town’s architectural precedent and patterns, both commercial and residential. Then, over the next few years, the firm developed a range of tools for the Downtown Development Authority, the Historic Preservation Commission, and private developers to ensure that growth within the historic district and surrounding environs would be compatible with Senoia’s existing character.
HISTORICAL CONCEPTS worked with the Historic Preservation Commission to document the town’s existing architectural precedent. The goal was to codify the germane elements and design vocabulary to inform future construction and renovation of commercial and residential properties.
A town’s buildings define its visual character and sense of place; that is why it is important to study the existing structures that are considered “historic.” The two most important characteristics of a building are its “Building Type’” and “Architectural Style.” Historical Concepts studied and documented Senoia’s building types so that they might provide inspiration and precedent for designers of new buildings in the town.
In addition to studying the building types found in Senoia, Historical Concepts also created a visual guide to the prevalent Architectural Styles. Intended to be a useful tool for the Historic Preservation Commission and the citizens of Senoia, this study ensures the continuity of the neighborhoods and buildings of Senoia.
Historical Concepts created Historic District Design Guidelines as a tool for preserving the character of downtown Senoia. This illustrative regulatory document and a city ordinance foster appropriate architectural responses to new construction within the historic district boundaries, including the revitalization of Main Street. A wide variety of historic structures, including brick store fronts and older, wood framed buildings, lent architectural diversity to the corridor. However, these buildings were interspersed with a handful of vacant sites, including prominent lots at the town’s main intersection. Historical Concepts documented the existing streetscapes and proposed potential infill solutions. The resulting drawings provide a visual picture of the desired architectural aesthetic and have successfully inspired recent infill projects along Main Street.
MAIN STREET & SEAVY STREET
Infill Architecture by Historical Concepts
A Vision Comes To Life
ADJACENT TO SENOIA’S HISTORIC DISTRICT, The Gin Property is a private development that extends the town’s character and sense of place. Situated just south of Senoia’s Main Street, The Gin Property complements the retail focus of Main Street with a blend of mixed-use buildings and single family residences. The master plan calls for diverse range of housing to encourage a multi-generational community.
Home to a cotton gin and, later, warehouses, The Gin Property parcel sat along an abandoned rail line and was considered a brownfield site. Its prominent location as the terminating view down Main Street made it a redevelopment priority for the city and an attractive venture for the private developers who had already contributed to the renaissance on Main Street.
THE EIGHT-ACRE SITE has been re-envisioned as a charming, small town neighborhood. Mixed-use buildings, a boutique hotel, warehouse-inspired lofts, and attached townhouses progressively ease the transition from the commercial nature of Main Street to The Gin Property’s residential district.
IN ADDITION TO CREATING THE MASTER PLAN and pattern book for The Gin Property, Historical Concepts also provided conceptual designs for a variety of building types, including a collection of mixed-use buildings and a range of single family residences.
The Gin Property Townhouses