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After 28 Years in the Dark, Oakland's Lampwork Lofts Light Up

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Way back in 1986, Madison Park developer/CEO John Protopappas offered to buy a 1911 warehouse once occupied by a lamp manufacturer in West Oakland. But the owner wasn't ready to sell. Protopappas waited 17 years to buy, and another 4 years to complete the purchase. By then it was 2007, and the recession was looming. Madison Park didn't land a construction loan until several years later, and construction finally got under way last year. At long last, the warehouse conversion, designed by the SoMa firm Levy Design Partners, has opened to renters. The project offers 92 live-work lofts, ranging from studios up through three-bedrooms, some of them with lofted ceilings up to 24 feet high.

As you'd expect, the original masonry has been preserved and refurbished, and the structure's steel supports are on view in all their blackened glory. The architects wove the third-floor clerestories in and out of the rooms, alternating them between the units and the hallway. They also preserved graffiti in the public spaces and in some of the residences. One graffito in particular kinda looks like a loopy, googly-eyed version of early Bart Simpson, who, as you recall, debuted not long after Mr. Protopappas began pursuing the warehouse deal.

· Construction Starts on Oakland's Lampwork Lofts After 27 Years' Wait [SF Business Times]
· Previous Coverage of Levy Design Partners [Curbed SF]