Kress on Dexter—Dexter Avenue’s Newest Restoration

By on 11 August, 2017 in Carole King, Historic Midtown with 3 Comments

If you’ve missed our first two Renovators’ Happy Hour, don’t despair! You’ll have another opportunity to see the newest, most innovative happening in Montgomery’s historic preservation movement hosted by Landmarks Foundation and the Historic Neighborhoods Coalition. Kress on Dexter will be open on Thursday, August 31, from 5:30 until 7:00 for our viewing and enjoyment of libations and socializing.

Kress on Dexter is a downtown restoration project by Marjam. It combines office, residential and retail space under one roof in the heart of Montgomery. The Kress project has embraced the ever-growing pedestrian-friendly entertainment district by inviting traffic from Dexter and Monroe, as well as the new “pocket park” at 29 Dexter Ave. With green building practices and energy-efficient amenities alongside restored heart pine floors and preserved moldings, the Kress will offer modern comforts while unveiling the beauty of the original structure. A new dog park has even opened next door at the intersection of Monroe and North Street.

H. Kress & Co. department store chain was founded in 1896, with the Montgomery location opening in 1898. After the original Kress building was destroyed by fire in 1927, a new building was constructed to replace it. But the building collapsed in 1929. The third and current building was designed by George Mackay and borrows architectural elements from the façade of the Grecian Temple of Hera. Founder Samuel Kress had been inspired by this historic structure while being knighted by the king of Italy for his efforts in preserving ancient monuments. Kress buildings across the country were distinguished by their art deco stylings and high quality details, like terrazzo tile floors and ornate plaster molding. The current Kress closed (as a Kress store) in 1981.

The main floor of the Kress project will offer approximately 65,000 sq. ft. of mixed-use retail space. Like the original S. H. Kress & Co., which offered everything from a candy counter to food service to clothes and gifts, the new Kress will provide a “variety store” shopping experience—but updated for today’s urban dwellers. Retail spaces are completely customized and range from 250 to 3,000 sq. ft. Kiosk opportunities are also available in the Kress and in the park.

Kress on Dexter’s third story will include private offices as well as co-working spaces, all outfitted with modern amenities and luxuries and historic details. With shopping and dining at arm’s reach, expansive city views, and floods of natural light, Kress on Dexter will offer a truly unique working environment with desirable amenities including restored heart pine floors, 18 feet ceilings with LED light fixtures, balconies and overlooking green spaces.

Living spaces are also available above the Kress on Dexter, and you can enjoy an urban dwelling experience like no other. With open-concept floor plans, high ceilings, and large private balconies, the Kress on Dexter will offer modern living spaces that embrace downtown’s historic cityscape. Amenities include granite countertops, low energy windows, LED lighting and stainless steel appliances with internet and cable included. You can even customize finishing packages with eligible leases as well. If you are interested in leasing, for more details check out kressondexter.com.

Be sure to join Landmarks and the Historic Neighborhoods Coalition for libations at Renovators’ Happy Hour on Thursday, August 31 from 5:30 until 7:00 at Kress on Dexter. Admission is free for Landmarks members and $10 on the sidewalk for others!

Carole King (not the singer, just the hummer) enjoys midtown living from South Capitol Parkway in Capitol Heights where she has lived for 25+years. Carole has been the historic properties curator for the Landmarks Foundation that manages Old Alabama Town for 28 years and is passionate about neighborhoods, their architectural character, their people, and their preservation!

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There Are 3 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Marie says:

    The addition to the top of the original building is a hideous eyesore! Can’t believe that was ever approved

  2. Phillip Sides says:

    The Kress project is an abomination, on so many levels I don’t where to begin. So I won’t, other than to say that it is inconceivable that this project has destroyed what was one of the nicest grand spaces in the city. And the addition on top of the building is one of the most irresponsible attempts at architectural design I have seen in many years. For God’s sake there are literally hundreds text book examples of how to approach an addition/expansion to an historic building. Why didn’t someone just pick one and copy it instead of the atrocity sitting on top of the building. And then to add insult to injury, put the name Kress, in some architecty style, on the new addition.
    I can’t even ride past the building anymore. it literally makes me mad and sick to my stomach at the same time.

  3. D says:

    The building is and looks great! For decades anyone could have taken that building and renovated it the so-called “right ” way, and didn’t feel the need to. Thank you to the developers who had the vision and
    the will to make Dexter Avenue “Great” again!

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