Historic Sinclair RestorationOctober 24, 2023
The Motor Inn Station Number Two, one of Escambia Countyâ€™s 42 registered historic places and a century-old building, is being restored at 500 W. Jackson St. in hopes of reopening as a commercial development.
The project is a personal one for ParsCo President and CEO Amir Fooladi, who has worked on many historical projects and is also on the board of the University of West Florida Historic Trust.
â€śFor me, I think itâ€™s just a passion for working on restoring the history of Pensacola,â€ť he said. â€śRenovations are fun but when it has that historical element it makes it extra special.â€ť
Fooladi has also helped with recent local developments like the Brent Lofts, Pearl & Horn and Slick Lips Seafood.
The development process has been underway for a few years, experiencing setbacks at times in order to remove outdated and less-than-sound infrastructure concealed within the buildingâ€™s original framework from nearly 100 years ago. The buildingâ€™s portico even caved in from rot, requiring a complete restoration.
Some of the buildingâ€™s original Spanish architecture, such as its plaster and window accents, are still present thanks to efforts by ParsCo Construction and theÂ UWF Historic TrustÂ to preserve its historic features.
In order to reconstruct some of these features, Richard Rodriguez, exhibit designer for the Historic Trust, used 3D-printing technology to make identical models with weather-resistant materials for the buildingâ€™s exterior.
Why is the building historically significant?
The Motor Inn Station Number Two is the latest addition to the National Register of Historic Places from Escambia County. The building was originally called Monks Service Station Number Two and wasÂ added to the register on Sept. 27Â last year at the beginning of the restoration development process.
â€śIt represents a period of early transportation, fueling and stations that you would have seen in Pensacola and the surrounding towns,â€ť said Ross Pristera, historic preservationist at the Historic Trust. â€śEach of these stations had its own brand of architecture to it, unlike the ones today that are just kind of generic.â€ť
Who will be in the new building?
There is no confirmed tenant yet for the commercial building, but there are a few businesses interested in the space. Once restoration of the building is complete, potential tenants will have to work with an architecture firm on the design of the historic buildingâ€™s interior in order to fit its individual needs.
Fooladi says that they will be finishing the entire building including the tenantâ€™s buildout and interior once they have signed their agreement.
â€śThese buildings have potential for new uses for smaller businesses. They offer a uniqueness that other commercial buildings donâ€™t have,â€ť Pristera said. â€śItâ€™s up to people like Amir to find and put the energy into them to make them viable again, people like to see them have new uses.â€ť
Fooladi says that the work to restore the building and keep it historically accurate was difficult, but dedication to the details from local partners such as JRS Plastering, Merritt Glass, Guy Brothers Roofing and Alcala Architecture is making the process successful.
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