Wilder Architecture, Inc.

Wilder Architecture, Inc.

Tampa, FL


1619 E. 8th Avenue

This historic brick building is a contributing structure in Ybor’s Barrio Latino District, one of Florida’s only National Historic Landmark Districts. The building has had many lives, ranging from a wholesale grocer to a furniture showroom, but has stood vacant for the last decade. It features a simple brick façade with a wood framed storefront at grade, canopy structure, and three metal casement windows overlooking 8th Avenue. These north-facing windows are the only original openings in this 98’ deep, zero-lot line building. The wood structural system was hidden under dropped ceilings and wrapped in drywall.

Our goal was to sensitively renovate and refresh this historic building, creating a new modern office space for a service-disabled veteran-owned small business, while celebrating its historic fabric. The ground floor is reimagined as a flexible work / collaboration space that can double as an event and gathering space. The existing concrete floor is polished and sealed and a new kitchenette is located at the southern-most end of the space.

The second floor is a more traditional office environment, with a mix of open and private offices, conference rooms, and break-out spaces. New partitions are held shy of the existing structure, allowing the wood truss system and brick shell to visibly run continuously through the space. New, historically sensitive skylights introduce natural light deep into the workspace.

The existing elevator shaft extends to the new rooftop patio overlooking Ybor’s streetcar line. This patio was held to the south end of the building, minimizing the visual impact of the new occupancy in accordance with Secretary of Interior Standards.  Finally, the Design Team successfully navigated the Barrio Latino Commission review process and received a certificate of appropriateness, breathing new life into the long vacant structure. 

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Status: Built
Location: Ybor City, FL, US
Firm Role: Architect of Record
Additional Credits: Mainstay Construction
Emerald Engineering