A bomb scare in the alley behind Helix rocked our world today. Upon hearing a loud explosion, Helix’s Lora Everett looked out the window to see a man emerge from a cloud of smoke and throw a mysterious black box into a nearby clothing donation box. The firetrucks, police, and a bomb squad arrived to investigate. As of this posting, a remote controlled robot is working on the situation. Look for our star witness, Lora, on tonight’s news.
As Shirley Helzberg’s third big production in 10 years, the historic Vitagraph Film Exchange Building at 17th and Wyandotte proved to be her most challenging. Fighting through city reviews, permits, and TIF financing approval, Shirley persevered to create a true work of art in Crossroads. The call sheet included a utility pole disappearing act, new set lighting, and a long scene where a very cool parking garage just seemed to emerge from nowhere!
This is not the Vitagraph’s debut appearance. It has been associated with the film industry for years as a Warner Bros. warehouse/distribution facility. Today, however, the building’s leading anchor tenant role will be played by the Kansas City Symphony. Helix’s Trudy Faulkner and Jay Tomlinson who have worked with Shirley on prior productions will once again be added to the credits of another successful preservation of Kansas City history.
When the Reeves Wiedeman Company decided to trade its current location in Lenexa for the historic OH Dean Building at 37th and Main, they turned to Helix. We designed the 14,000 square foot, 2-story structure into this plumbing supply wholesaler’s corporate headquarters and showroom. RWCO utilized historic tax credits and will be pursuing LEED Silver certification. Helix’s Joe Jimenez, Ryan Hunter, Jay Tomlinson, Kathy Kelly, and Mason Hansen worked with Project Solutions (a division of JE Dunn) to complete the project.
Yeah yeah, crumbling interior, asbestos problems, improper plumbing, bla, bla, bla. Been there done that, says Helix. From the looks of this video, Trozzolo isn’t too worried either.
Trozzolo bought a “gem” and asked Helix to help remove the quotation marks. It will probably take some late nights by Jeff, Lora, Mason, Jay, and Kathy, but this talented team will have the 5 story abandoned pile of $@*# whipped into shape before you can say “Gee Whiz Nice Building.”
Winning the Associated General Contractors of America “Green Project of the Year” award was an exciting accomplishment for Helix and the rest of the construction team who turned a dilapidated mechanic’s garage into a cutting edge Crossroads Missouri Bank branch. Helix and HarenLaughlin Construction collaborated to produce a LEED Gold project – only the 4th Kansas City building to achieve this feat. While significant structural surprises popped up as construction progressed, the project still finished ahead of schedule and under budget. view article
As a side note, Mainstreet Theater renovation popped up as a finalist under the “Specialty Contractor” division. view article
The much anticipated Lied Performing Arts Center addition at the University of Kansas has broken ground! Reeves Wiedeman, Bryan Gross and Jacob Palan can be credited with the design which will increase lobby and office spaces as well as create an educational pavilion. The education pavilion will provide a wonderful space for small performances, lectures, pre-show demonstrations, and patron receptions and parties. “Working on buildings that showcase and enhance the arts is a great privilege for any architect and this project was no exception,” Gross said. Funding for the addition came from the Lied Foundation and the William T. Kemper Foundation. Construction is expected to be complete in the spring of 2011.
Sunday, five Helixers and one… uhhh… make that one and a half (congrats to Ryan and Adria!) Helix supporters braved impending storm clouds to join thousands of other participants in the 22nd annual Trolley Run. This race, benefitting the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired, is the largest timed 4-mile race in the United States. The race’s course winds from Waldo, through Brookside, and into the Plaza where a huge party awaits the tired, but cheerful finishers. Scattered reports indicate that a Krispy Kreme booth may have been spotted this year somewhere in the vicinity of Central Street and Ward Parkway, but confirmation is pending.
Helix’s dream team (in no particular order) consisted of:
Bryan “The Bullet” Gross
“Get There in a Jiffy” John Waller
“Recklessly Rapid” Ryan Hunter
Adria “The Accelerator” Hunter
“Lightning” Leah Nordhus
Curtis “Speedball” Simmons
We won’t brag too much, but race results may be found at www.trolleyrun.org.
Helix hosted a mid-semester design critique for fifth-year architectural students from Kansas State University.