The Principals of CityCampus have directly participated in key historic preservation projects in Charlottesville, Virginia. As in the case of the Paramount Theater, a new performing arts venue, IBI’s planned restoration of the Coca-Cola plant will be done in a way that will perpetuate Coca-Cola’s association with this site and the broader community. The building’s preservation really cannot be separated from the Coca-Cola Company as the original builder because the prominent display of Coca-Cola’s logo is integral to the Art Deco entrance, the most notable element of the architecture. As a company on the cutting edge of the new green economy and in the forefront biomedical research, IBI will reflect handsomely on Coca-Cola even as we adaptively reuse the building and restore the integrity of its original architecture, including reinstalling windows to the elevation to illuminate our office and laboratory space.
Our plan will sustainably take advantage of the embodied energy represented in this structurally solid building and immediately demonstrate a commitment to economic development and jobs in the wake of the relocation of the Coca-Cola operation. CityCampus LLC will engage Professor Daniel Bluestone, Director of the University of
Virginia’s Historic Preservation Program to advise in the adaptive reuse of this important city landmark. Mr. Bluestoneis a specialist in American architecture, urbanism, and adaptive re-use development (see www.arch.virginia.edu/faculty/DanielBluestone/). He is also intimately familiar with this site having directed the University of Virginia’s Preston Avenue Community History Project in 2004-2005. He has also been associated with the major adaptive reuse of a former Preston Avenue industrial bakery plant and an adjacent historic residence as the offices for Charlottesville’s civil legal aid clinic.
Older Charlottesville residents remember the Coca-Cola Bottling facility as a building they could visit and see people at work bottling Coca-Cola: the building was an icon for the community. Our vision for the new facility is to provide ‘biotech in a bottle’ and to create a state-of-the-art biotechnology research campus that fosters the historic memories of Coca-Cola in our community, making the building once again the locus of community innovation, production, and community pride in work well done, products well made.
Coca-Cola was originally developed by Dr. John Stith Pemberton as a refreshing tonic and sold in pharmacies in Atlanta. Coca-Cola has direct connections to Virginia through Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans from Bedford Virginia, wife of John B. Whitehead, who was responsible for rapid expansion of Coca-Cola’s bottling plants across the US in the 1900’s. Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans served on the Board of Directors of Coca-Cola for 20 years.