Kennan Building

Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Year Built: 1991

Originally built in 1964, the Kennan Building had fallen into bankruptcy and by 1991 was unoccupied. The Kennan Building was condemned and bankruptcy bidders intended demolition.

This architectural design client was a long-time client, a contractor who saw more potential in keeping the building and remodeling and upgrading.

My role was to maximize tenant areas, fix known structural deficiency, prepare the ground floor for a bank tenant, retain tile murals, and make it a “better” landmark.

Demolition stripped the building to its structural shell. Modifications were made to the structural steel frame and the HVAC and fire safety systems were completely redesigned. A major interior and exterior project upgrade followed.

In 1994 and 1995 a restaurant and nightclub named “Hot Chocolate” was added to the second floor level with covered valet parking and a separate entrance beneath the nightclub. This addition provided the opportunity to balance the simplicity of the tower with more interesting sculptural elements. The circular steel details at the entrance canopy and elsewhere are there to “celebrate the circle”.

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