Best Renovation - 2006
Elder Street Artist Lofts
Just two short years ago, those who happened upon the Jefferson Davis Hospital on the periphery of Old Sixth Ward didn't hold out much hope for the long-abandoned building. With a barbed wire fence protecting its graffiti-riddled exterior and glass shards hanging tenaciously in every window, the red brick Classical Revival-style structure, completed in 1924, was more an eyesore than a historic treasure. But people with the nonprofit development company Artspace saw it as an opportunity to revitalize the community and provide a much-needed service: affordable housing for local artists and their families. Now home to 34 studios, apartments and an art gallery, this thoughtful renovation boasts every modern amenity while maintaining the building's original architectural highlights.