The big, splashy proposals for new apartments in downtown Hartford draw a lot of attention, as the city works to build up the population of downtown dwellers.
But the new owner of 36 Lewis St. — a modest, 10,000-square-foot structure dating from 1840 — could soon be adding to downtown’s stock of apartments.
The partnership that bought the historic, former home now hopes to convert it into six townhouse-style apartments — three, one bedroom and three, two-bedroom, William Crosskey, of Crosskey Architects in Hartford, told me.
Crosskey said the partnership, led by David Elwell, would retain and restore the Italianate-style exterior, dominated by a wide front porch supported by Doric-style columns. A one-story addition would be removed under the plans, he said.
The historic properties commission and historic preservation commission were scheduled to review the plans Tuesday
Update: The commissions approved the plans Tuesday. It wasn’t immediately clear Wednesday when construction would begin or when the apartments might be ready for occupancy.
When the partnership purchased the brick structure earlier this year, Elwell said he was considering all uses for the property, including apartments, mixed-use and restaurant.
Crosskey said apartments were chosen because of the demand demonstrated by the downtown market.
Elwell couldn’t be reached for comment today.
The building was originally a residence, as were other structures from the mid-1800s that stand on the street today. The building at 36 Lewis was occupied as a home into the late 1950s, the last on the street to retain its original use.
The building was an upscale restaurant in the 1980s and a controversial, after-hours dance club in the 1990s. The building has been vacant for at least eight years, possibly longer since the dance club Vibe closed down.