Historical Renovation Project of the Year
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Urth Caffe - Orange

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Imagine peeling an orange to reveal the sweet treasure inside.  Since 2015, Urth Caffe has been peeling back layers of history to reveal architectural treasures as it restored an 1888 building to become its flagship cafe in Old Towne Orange.  Urth’s Old Towne Orange location started as a real estate office, a fact revealed as workers removed stucco covering a huge sign painted on the exterior wall of the oldest part of the building.  The large sign advertised “Hemphill & Morse,” real estate agents promoting Orange as a great place to live in 1888.  The original 1888 building expanded in 1907 when a est wing extension was built and a second floor was added.  All the exterior brick walls of the expanded building were plastered over at that time.  As part of its renovation, Urth Caffe removed all the plaster and restored all the brick walls.  To enable this unreinforced masonry building to be compliant with current seismic building code requirements, a separate internal moment frame structure was built to support the unreinforced masonry building.

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