Today was the first of four special open house events in our new Bellefonte office located at 101 A North Allegheny Street. The new building has had a complete interior renovation from its historic beginning as a local bank. The vault and some of the original hardware is still visible in the office structure. The renovations have established an open and inviting design office that we have envisioned since moving to Bellefonte.
Our time in Bellefonte began on the fourth floor of the historic Temple Court Building from 2005 until August 2011. Then we moved to our new location at the corner of North Allegheny and West High Streets, essentially on the square in Bellefonte (with a great view of the Centre County Courthouse). It is not entirely accurate that we are on the square; we are actually slightly under the square. Truthfully; our space, like many others in the Borough, is located on the ground floor which is approximately half a story below the adjacent street level.
We chose to stay in downtown Bellefonte, in a historic building, which is a self-determined sustainable decision, however, the physical elevation of our office created a unique opportunity to add a truly unique sustainable element to our office renovations. The windows that face the adjacent streets are surrounded by historic stone window wells. When we moved into the space, the bottoms of these wells were covered in gravel and tended to simply collect leaves and stray debris from the sidewalk. We saw an opportunity to apply a time tested green roof technology to the wells. In each of four window wells, we constructed a support structure and installed green roof tray systems with living plants. The trays are filled with a variety of Sedum species that were planted and supplied by Creek Hill Nursery – http://creekhillnursery.com/. Now, the view out the windows is filled with living plant life that treats storm water runoff and increases the aesthetic appeal of the stone window wells.
The main effect of the renovations has been the creation of a space to collaborate with clients and allow growth in the Centre region. An added, and frankly unforeseen, effect has been the amount of interest the green window wells have generated with our neighbors and fellow Bellefonte residents. Stop by and see us if you’re in town!