BEST RENOVATION (1999)
This squat, unflashy brick building may not look like the grandest renovation in recent memory. But in a city that has been forever callous about saving old structures, it's a wonder the little freight house survived at all. After sitting vacant for more than 25 years, the two-story edifice was recast last spring as a Dunn Bros. Coffee outlet with its original character--high ceilings, hardwood floors upstairs, exposed brick walls, and big windows intact. All in all, spacious and funky. The exterior restoration was handled by the Design Partnership LTD, the interior by Leonard Parker and Associates, and the whole mogilla is recognized by both the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota and the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission as a stellar example of what we building buffs like to call an "adaptive reuse."