Zimmerman Steel

Lawrence, KS (2021)

701 E 19th Street

Known locally as the “Zig Zag” building, Zimmerman Steel was built as an industrial manufacturing business for fabrication and sales of structural steel and architectural metal components. The 9,094 square-foot building consists of a steel fabrication shop (1959) and a one-story office addition (1963). The shop is an industrial and utilitarian style rigid-frame steel building; the office addition is a mid-century modern style. Lee Zimmerman operated his family’s steel fabrication business from 1959 to 2013 when the company was liquidated. In 2020, MarLan Construction purchased the Zimmerman Steel Building, and in 2021, rehabilitation was completed, turning it into their headquarters.  

Rehabilitation work included rearrangement of the office area to provide larger private offices while maintaining the spatial effect created by the exposed folded-plate structural-steel roof deck. New office space expanded into the fabrication shop area without detracting from the production area. Thicker roof insulation was installed at the office and it was tapered close to the roof edges so the original aluminum fascia remained. Interior storm windows were added to the aluminum storefront windows and the insulated panels in the storefront windows were replaced. New epoxy flooring was installed in the main office entry area, matching the original flooring in that area. Original light fixtures on the front of the building  were rehabilitated. 

 The Zimmerman Steel building remains an important part of Lawrence history. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places because of its local significance in Industry and Commerce categories. It is also listed for its Architecture, which expresses significant design principles of Modern architecture through its use of distinctive design, form, and construction techniques.

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