by Michael R. Allen
Today, I stopped by Neighborhood Gardens Apartments and chatted with developer Dan Dalton. His crew is working steady, and the results are apparent. The site is a beehive of activity during the day, and the buildings are starting to look much different. Windowpanes have even been installed in one building facing 7th Street. Dalton told me that 99% of the original steel cast window sashes were restored for the project — that is impressive. Window sashes typically don’t survive rehab projects, often because they are wooden and have not been maintained well enough to warrant saving.
When Dalton and company are done with their work, Neighborhood Gardens Apartments will be a shining example of what good can come of persistence and sensitivity to historic materials. Dan and his brother Jim have taken a large, neglected LRA-owned landmark and restored it without the fanfare and financial assistance that other developers have received. Good work, guys!