After undertaking a year-long visioning effort to strategically revitalize Downtown Caruthersville, the city is undertaking its first capital improvement project: the restoration and adaptive reuse of the historic Exchange Building (built in 1916). The structure is located at the cross section of the two most trafficked streets in town and is just steps away from the banks of the mighty Mississippi River. This project will repurpose the downstairs as a large, flexible open space for events and meetings. The second floor is being converted into upscale offices and short-term vacation rentals. A2H assisted the city in planning the strategic phasing of this project and applying for grant funding to complete the restoration.
The proposed adaptive reuse of the 6,774 s.f. building and addition of approximately 1,786 s.f. will provide a total of 8,560 s.f. of renovated space for programming for the Caruthersville Area Arts Council. The first floor program includes gallery space, office space for the relocation of the City of Caruthersville Chamber of Commerce staff to the Exchange Building, restrooms, an elevator, and kitchen to hold events in the large gallery space. The second floor program includes office space, residential space, restrooms, and commercial space for the activation of the historic building throughout the day.
In addition to the new programmed spaces, a key aspect of the project will be correcting code compliance and ADA deficiencies in the existing building to create a safe, accessible, and compliant space.
A2H previously worked with the city on stabilization efforts to maintain the building while future funding was sought for the improvements.