Newmark’s Building

Lawrence, KS (2021)

809 Massachusetts St

809 Massachusetts Street is home to Newmark’s Building. Originally constructed in 1865 and modified in 1912, the 4,784 square-foot building is a two-story brick building with a glass recessed centered entry flanked by large display windows with masonry bulkheads. The building houses the Raven Book Store on the first level and two residential apartments on the second level, along with basement storage. Prior to an electrical fire in 2019, an axe-throwing business was in this location, with minimal access to the second floor and basement. A primary focus of the project was to restore the second floor to its original residential function and repair the basement. Materials, features, finishes, and craftsmanship examples characterizing the property were also rehabilitated. 

The stacked limestone basement foundation was repointed on the interior. Exterior brick was cleaned and repointed appropriately. Maple strip and tile mosaic flooring on the first floor were refinished with original wood flooring reinstalled over a new concrete floor.  Windows on the second floor were replaced with tempered safety glass with operable sashes. Tin ceilings were salvaged and reinstalled. Significant wood framing issues were repaired. A roof plane that covered the original door and window openings on the second floor was removed, allowing roof access. New insulation, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical services were installed.  Code and safety improvements were also made to the entire building.

The historic character of Newmark’s Building was preserved in the project. Federal and State Historic Tax Credits were utilized for this rehabilitation. Lawrence’s Downtown Historic District comprises the core of the historic central business district of Lawrence, Kansas. Buildings within the district are associated with various periods of Lawrence’s development and were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in July, 2004. This project received the 2023 Merit Award from the Kansas Preservation Alliance in 2023. The Raven is an independent, employee-owned bookstore founded in 1987; it was Publisher’s Weekly 2022 Bookstore of the Year.

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