Best Repurposed Buildings - 2009
PaisleyTown at The Paisley Violin
Old buildings are torn down all too often in our neck of the woods. It's sad to watch bits of our history razed, especially when what appears in its place is often boring, ugly, or even worse, part of a corporate chain with an outlet on every corner. That's what makes PaisleyTown, the quaint village of outbuildings behind Grand Avenue's Paisley Violin, so special. These brightly colored little houses have quite a past. Constructed during World War II to house Italian and German prisoners of war, they've made their way to a quickly developing part of downtown. Loaded onto trucks and moved from their former home at 19th Avenue and McDowell Road, the cottages underwent the mother of all refurbs and fought their way through a year's worth of red tape to emerge all shiny and new. Even better, they've come full circle in their purpose. Instead of housing POWs, they now house emerging businesses. A hair salon, a gallery, a designer, and a vintage clothing store are but a few of the establishments giving new life to old buildings with a bellicose past.