If you ask Andrew Riddle, there’s no time like the present to restore and rejuvenate one of Hendersonville’s past architectural gems. In 2017, the contractor and his brothers Sammy and Scott, with businessman Tommy Davis, formed Allen Street Partners and purchased the century-old two-story building at 101 East Allen Street that opened in 1920 as the Joines Motor Co. Ford dealership. “At that time, it was probably the grandest building in Hendersonville,” he says. “It was all steel, concrete, and brick. It had the massive windows, high ceilings, terrazzo floors, electric lights, and was filled with these brand-new beautiful cars.”
After a foreclosure in the 1930s, the building transitioned through several owners and uses over the decades, including the Laborer’s Building & Loan Association, the Chipman LaCrosse Hosiery Mill, and the Robotype typewriter company. Eventually it was purchased by the county and used for several government agencies, then sat empty for more than a decade.
Though the Riddle brothers grew up in Hendersonville, their personal knowledge of the building didn’t occur until its last iteration in the 1960s, when it was taken hostage by the Brutalist architectural movement that emerged in the mid 20th century. “They painted the brick, covered the windows, and added the concrete fins,” he says. “It was incredibly ugly, but I knew what was behind the façade. We saw the opportunity to bring it back to its former glory.”
Allen Street Partners got to work on the demo — removing the horrendous fins and exterior paint, exposing the interior brick walls and restoring the windows. “We’ve talked to architects and consultants to help uncover every hidden gem and figure out the best use of the shell we ended up with,” says Riddle.
Working with architect Frank Kelsch of HomeSmith Architecture and Carolina Specialties, the building has been broken up into three large spaces on the first floor, visualized as future restaurant/retail use. The second floor has multiple spaces from 160 to 1,600 square feet, intended for individual offices with shared amenities.
Riddle reached out to the community seeking building artifacts and received memorabilia from a woman whose father worked for Robotype. Historical photos will be hung in History Hall connecting the ground floor east and west entrances. “We anticipate cutting the ribbon December 1,” Riddle says. “We are excited to be right in the heart of everything happening here in Hendersonville.”
For more information, call 828-435-1067 or see riddledevelopment.com.