Earlier this year the McGrath Property Group proposed redevelopment
of part of the north side of the 1200 block of East Washington. A couple of used car lots would be removed (amen!) and the Patriot Glass building, a quonset hut, would have the facade removed and the building re-purposed. Quonset huts are semi-cylindrical buildings made of steel and date from World War II when the Navy needed a lot of easy to assemble buildings. Someone at McGrath called the quonset hut at 1212 E. Washington a "hidden gem" while project architect Joseph Lee said "it would offer 'a striking appearance' and serve as 'a great space for office, retail, restaurant or a bar.'"
I recently changed jobs which necessitated taking a bus down East Washington and recently noticed that the hidden gem is gone. A couple of months after The Cap Times reported on the project McGrath filed a Letter of Intent (PDF)
with the city which noted that the quonset hut would be demolished. That's too bad. I'm no Lee Bey
or Blair Kamin
nor do I have a great affinity for quonset huts but keeping it would have given the project something unique. As it stands now, we're going to get three storeys of "Modern Warehouse", whatever that may be.
Labels: Architecture, Gentrification, Madison