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Another historic building gets new life in Stamford’s South End

February 2, 2019

STAMFORD — The Zoning Board this week approved a plan to renovate a historic South End apartment building and convert its first-floor warehouse space into residential units.

The approvals, for the nearly 6,000-square-foot building at 32 Pulaski St., mark a continuation of the trend of renovating historic buildings instead of tearing them down. Last fall, three similar proposals that called for adapting old buildings for new uses — two of them in the South End — were heard or approved.

And while a gleaming glass tower — a new headquarters for Charter Communications — is rising across Pulaski Street from this project, this plan is more in line with the old South End than the new.

The building’s skeleton will remain, and facade changes will harken to the time this building was first erected around 1927, said Nigel Marsh, a local architect representing owner Matthew Reinhard.

“We’ve done some research in the local neighborhood and there are some existing properties all dating from the same time period,” Marsh said. “They seem to show there is a mix of materials on the exterior ... We’re trying to incorporate that into the exterior fabric of the property.”

Marsh’s plan calls for taking the first-floor warehouse space and converting it into apartment units through a historic preservation provision in city Zoning Regulations.

The change from warehouse space to apartment units is not be the first time that floor has been changed for a new use.

Marsh said the first floor was retail in the late ’20s, then converted to warehouse space in the 1940s. In the 1970s, a small addition was made to the rear that acted as a loading and unloading bay.

Zoning Board Chair David Stein said the proposal is a “nice looking project.”

“It’s nice to see some of our older homes saved, renovated and restored instead of torn down,” he said.

Renee Kahn, founder of the city’s Historic Neighborhood Preservation, vouched for the change.

“This is, forgive me, an ugly house at this point ... it’s had a long life and it’s suffered,” she said. “I’m delighted to see something like this is happening and I think it will come out quite well.”

Other recent conversions include a warehouse and antique store to become apartments at 614 Shippan Ave., and the restoration of a West Side Victorian-era home.

barry.lytton@stamfordadvocate.com; 203-964-2263; @bglytton

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