Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Date with Eva Felman

The Eva Felman Apartments, that is.

I have no idea who the namsake was; perhaps a relation of the developer Marvin Felman. And the Eva Felman Apartments is called something else now, too. But it's still a model of a possible future for downtown housing, while also being the last of a type.


The building design is sort of a banal modernism, but what makes it interesting is how the desing uses a modern style, but in way that refers to the older buildings once found in downtown, helping break up the mass of the building and making the it seem more visually interesting from the street.

Here are some of the fine points of urban design that Eva Felmans gets right. You can click on the image to enlarge if the text is too small

What's even better is how the building type can bulk up the downtown population count. I have no idea about the actual unit count in this building, so the diagram below is an estimate based on the window arrangement on the street facade.
So just 4 new Eva Felmans scattered around downtown might result in 96 additional households (one household per unit) if fully leased. Since there might be two person households one could see the actual population count top 120 for four additional buildings, assuming just 6 two person households.

What's nice about this is that smaller buildings like Eva Felman would add to the visual variety of downtown, as they would not be a big, uniform 'housing complex' like The Landing.

Since the Eva Felman was actually built, and remained open, in an era of downtown decline apparently the economics of this building must have worked out since it was apparently never a subsidized development, being a market rate rental property.

Since the apartments would be fairly small one bedroom and two bedroom units presumably the rents would be lower than the modern higher-priced loft rentals. So maybe a less affluent clientele, yet one who prefered downtown living. Perhaps students, perhaps maybe a more eclectic, perhaps even bohemian mix. In some ways the Eva Felman was the last of a type that catered to lower income singles, the bachelor apartment (though single females also lived in places like this).

So could the past be prologue for downtown housing, or at least some of it?

3 comments:

Brian said...

During the two years the building was under construction, Marvin Felman's beloved mother passed away. The building was dedicated in her honor.

The upper floors are 8 units per floor: one 2-bedroom and seven 1-bedroom units. The top (7th)floor, however, has four units joined together into one deluxe penthouse, plus four 1-bedroom units. The 2-bedroom units (and the penthouse) are all centered on the 2nd/Jefferson corner, with the best views, etc. It was originally configured as 48 units but is 45 units in the current layout.

Jefferey said...

Thank you for the information.

Anonymous said...

What happened to that proposed "Spanish Colonial-cum-Stalinist" residential tower near the DAI, for which Papa Ubu's criticism got him banned for life from DaytonMostlyMediocre.Commedy?