Domino - The Adant House
The Adant House, which sits at the corner of South 5th and Kent, is one of the buildings that WPA has Landmarks to add to its designation. The building was constructed as part of the 1883 rebuilding of the Havemeyers & Elder Sugar Refinery, and was used for processing sugar into cubes (in a process patented by Gustav Adant in the late-19th century). The Adant House was originally 6 stories tall, with a penthouse at the seventh story, and was topped by the corbelled and pedimented parapets that were a hallmark of the original refinery design. In the 1950s, Domino cut the building down to four stories.
Except for the decorative parapets, the design of this building was much more utilitarian than that of the main refinery. However, we feel that this building, together with the main refinery, form a complex of 19th century factory structures that better tell the story of the sugar refining process, and better tell the story of the sheer scale and dominance of the Havemeyers sugar refining operations. The building also relates very directly to the industrial buildings immediately across Kent Avenue (which are now condos).
The property's owner, CPC Resources, has argued that preserving this building would not fit in with its development plans. WPA strongly disagrees - the CPC plan calls for a building of roughly 6 to 8 stories at this location. The Landmarks Commission would surely approve an addition to this building to bring it back to its well-documented historic height. So in essence, CPC is proposing to take down a building and replace with an almost identical height building. That is the Dutch Mustard scenario all over again - instead of a more interesting design that melds old and new, simply tear down the old and replace it with something far less interesting. Saving this building would enhance the overall design of the project, be more responsible from an environmental point of view, and would not impact the ability of the project to provide retail, affordable housing, or luxury housing. This building even has larger window openings than the main refinery.
In short, saving the Adant House could easily fit in with the development plans, rather than thwarting them. Even if LPC refuses to add this structure to the designation, WPA hopes that CPC will see the benefits of keeping the Adant House in some form or another.