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Main Street South Carolina recognized the Sumter Printing Company renovation in downtown Sumter with the Gaines Jontz Rehabilitation Award. Main Street South Carolina is a program of the Municipal Association of South Carolina.

This award recognizes excellence in facade or total building rehabilitation. The project must demonstrate quality and appropriateness of design, materials and construction, and have a positive impact on the commercial district.

The City of Sumter sought to develop the underutilized second floors of historic downtown commercial structures into residential space. The revitalization of the Sumter Printing Company building provides an example of this kind of redevelopment.

The structure at 134-136 N. Main Street, built in 1929 with Romanesque brick detailing in its facade, stood abandoned for a decade or more. The developers working to revitalize the property obtained South Carolina abandoned buildings and historic renovation tax credits as well as federal historic renovation tax credits. The City of Sumter also awarded a facade grant for the project.

The project included a down-to-the-walls demolition of the building’s interior and the construction of new exterior stairs to meet fire code. The original first-floor storefront windows remained, with all other windows receiving historically appropriate replacements. 
The two first-floor commercial spaces kept much of the original terra cotta tile flooring and reinstalled original beaded-board ceilings in the lobbies. New balconies at the building’s rear provided outdoor space for the apartments.

The renovation created two larger commercial spaces leased to a law firm and architecture firm which were already located downtown. The second floor now features four apartment units. The commercial space and two of the apartments had leases signed before construction finished.

“This project serves as a great example of utilizing existing downtown structures to create more mixed-use residential and commercial space,” said Jenny Boulware, Main Street SC manager. “Adaptive reuse is an excellent way for cities and towns to advance their economies while maintaining their historic fabric.”
T
he award is named in memory of Gaines Jontz, an architect on staff at the Municipal Association, who worked with cities and towns across South Carolina on restoration efforts.

Main Street South Carolina empowers residents, business owners and local officials with the knowledge, skills, tools and organizational structure necessary to revitalize their downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts into vibrant centers of commerce and community.

Main Street South Carolina follows the National Main Street’s Four Point Approach — economic vitality, design, promotion and organization. Each year, Main Street South Carolina recognizes members’ achievements and successes in downtown revitalization. For more information about Main Street South Carolina, visit the Municipal Association’s website at www.masc.sc (keyword: Main Street).
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