Since being constructed in 1904, the Block & Kuhl building in Peoria, IL was as a landmark downtown. The striking seven-story building first served as a department store. Fondly known as The Big White Store, it boasted white glazed terra cotta and brick with large windows illuminating the bustling shoppers within.
Throughout the decades, additions were added, and it was eventually converted into offices before lying dormant. OSF HealthCare sought to change that.
With administrative staff scattered across the city, OSF was in need of a headquarters and recognized this opportunity to reinvest in their community. The Block & Kuhl building could serve as their headquarters and would streamline their operations while reinvigorating the area.
POINTCORE is tasked with overseeing the logistics to make this complicated project a reality, which entails restoring the building to its original glory and adapting it to serve the needs of OSF staff and the broader community today and into the future.
With every project, our job is to anticipate the unexpected. That’s exceptionally important for restoration projects, as is transparency around the various options so teams can effectively iterate as new needs arise. Each party involved in the project must understand how the restorations should be made in accordance with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and the National Park Service. They also need to understand how the needs of OSF HealthCare staff would drive modern office design for the space like flexible work areas with state-of-the-art screens and whiteboard walls for maximum collaboration.
In coordinating with all of the parties, POINTCORE has ensured that the project stays on track and receives the most budgetary support possible. That involves working with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and the National Park Service to secure tax credits, which requires detailed documentation and approval throughout the entire process.
We also communicate with the designers, architects, construction teams and specialty craftspeople to make OSF HealthCare’s vision come to life. Given that this will serve as OSF headquarters, keeping executives up to date and engaged is critical. To do so, we established a steering committee that meet bi-weekly, which streamlines decision-making.
With each step of the process, we utilize technology to better demonstrate the approach that will be taken. Through virtual animations and fly throughs of both the exterior and interior, we provide opportunities to see what the space will look and feel like in order to gather quality input.
The project is on pace to be completed at the end of 2021 when it will usher in a new era for downtown Peoria.
Any restoration project, particularly one of this size with this number of additions, can include surprises during every demo. POINTCORE has helped OSF HealthCare get ahead of those surprises through preliminary budgeting that forecasts for the unexpected and folded in the complicated tax credit structure.
By proper budgetary planning, we will be able to restore the historic molding and original white marble tile that had been covered up for 80 years. Along with providing a renewed space for 600 staff members, the building will utilize a café and curated outdoor areas to further engage the public and reinvigorate the community for decades to come.
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