Commercial Building/ Caravan of Dreams Performing Arts Center – 308-310 Houston Street

308-310 Houston Street, Commercial Building/Caravan of Dreams Performing Arts Center, c. 1887; 1981-82; 1991.  According to historic Sanborn Fire Insurance maps and city directory records, this pair of two-story brick Victorian commercial buildings was constructed about 1887.  Frederick A. Boerner, a jeweler, was the first tenant at 308 Houston St. that same year.  A wide variety of tenants, including paint and clothing stores, occupied the buildings during the 1890s. Keystone Printing utilized both buildings from about 1904 through 1910, followed by Puckett Furniture in the teens and twenties.  Both buildings were significantly altered through the years, although the elaborate pressed metal cornices remained intact.  In 1981 the buildings were purchased and, with the structures 312-14 Houston St., converted into the Caravan of Dreams Performing Arts Center.  The facade and end walls were kept, preserving the cornice and second floor windows with their segmental arches and hood molds, while the remainder of the structure is new construction.  Margret Augustine of Sarbid, Ltd. and James R. Wooten and Associates were the project architects and Thomas S. Byrne, Inc. was the general contractor.  In 1991 the interior of the club was completely renovated, again according to plans by Margret Augustine

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