Downtown’s latest condo project rejects the faux-historic movement in favor of an up-to-date, truly modern urban aesthetic.

Columbus’ trendy downtown building boom this decade mirrors much of the country’s current taste and appeal.  New architecture in urban areas has taken a safe, faux-historic approach: replica buildings, with the look of yester-year, but constructed with all the modern conveniences of the 21st century. Condo, office and retail projects are sprouting up in several neighborhoods with the same late 19th century “red brick motif”. 

One downtown project in particular blends old with new while defying the faux-historic trend.  Don DeVere’s 225 North Fourth St. condos merge an existing, historic, masonry building with a newly constructed glass and steel structure, resulting in a contemporary and modern aesthetic.  DeVere worked collaboratively with Jonathan Barnes Architecture and Design to transform the once abandoned warehouse into one of the more unique downtown projects to come online to fruition.

According to Laurie Gunzelman, project manager with Jonathan Barnes, the precursor to 225 North Fourth was the widely successful Brunson Building.  The Brunson and 225 North Fourth used the same design philosophy of parabuilding: making an addition to an existing building that changes the fundamental character of the original structure.  The contemporary additions in both projects married the new and historic with the composition of the building elements, rather than with an historical reference. 

The interior of 225 North Fourth was again not replicated; rather, it was contrasted with clean lines and up-to-date amenities, seen in the trim details, kitchen cabinets, plumbing fixtures and lighting elements.  Inside the historic portion, these same modern details contrast with the refinished wood floors and exposed timber beams and brick walls, resulting in an interior that fulfills the comprehensive design of the project. 

Inside this featured unit at 225 North Fourth, the interior design and furnishings continue the modern look and create a true urban loft, reminiscent of apartments found in New York’s Soho or Meat Packing Districts.  Here, Design Within Reach was the furniture store of choice for the entire unit.  The living room and dining area pieces blend modern and mid-20th century, which work flawlessly atop the finished concrete floors and adjacent to exposed cinder block walls.  Original abstract artwork, including paintings and mixed media by local artists, was purchased at Abstract Earth Gallery on Old Henderson Road.

The master bedroom provides a warmer environment, where Berber carpeting and taupe walls meld with the contemporary bedroom pieces.  A classic Barcelona lounger with side glass table and ultra-modern floor lamp create a comfortable sitting area in the corner.  Connected to the rear of the bedroom is an ample-sized walk-in closet with washer dryer hook-up.  The unit’s only bathroom, gigantic as it is, allows for entry via the hallway or the master bedroom as well.

Like nothing else in the city, 225 North Fourth brings life to an underutilized, underdeveloped urban property, and does so in an architecturally forward-thinking and skillful way.  Modest and restrained in its appearance, it’s hard not to notice it.  Stop by and see this gem for yourself on Saturday and Sunday afternoons or visit for more information.