Cascades Developer, North American Properties (NAP) has completed the rehabilitation of the former Leon County Health Unit, an 80-year-old architecturally and culturally significant building that previously sat vacant and decaying for decades. Built by the WPA in 1939, the Health Unit was the first of its kind in Florida, where interracial staff provided services for residents, including many residents of the nearby Smokey Hollow neighborhood – one of the city’s most important African American enclaves. Beyond symbolizing a new progressive influence on public health, the building’s architecture reflects the Art Moderne style, a style that is nearly extinct from the fabric of Tallahassee.
Because of the building’s importance within the community, NAP made its refurbishment their first order of business at Cascades, devoting time and resources at the outset of the project to bring it back to life. Updates include a new roof, repairs to interior damages, refurbishment of the original flooring, new windows that closely match the original style, and new paint inside and out. Select interior walls and wood trusses have been left exposed to showcase the craftsmanship, character, and beauty of the building’s original state.
The space now serves as an interim construction office for NAP staff, but it will ultimately be leased to an office or retail tenant.