How it Began
Located between the railroad tracks and Monterey or the El Camino Real in Downtown Morgan Hill, the old Isaacson Granary was a prominent reminder of the area's once preeminent agri-business. As populations grew and Santa Clara Valley evolved into Silicon Valley, the agricultural and industrial businesses based around the Granary and the railroad tracks slid into non-use and decay. The Granary became a symbol of a bygone era.
In 2003, Charles Weston AIA, LEED AP and Lesley Miles AIA, LEED AP Principals at Weston Miles Architects, decided to embark on a challenging project to repurpose the existing derelict Granary. At the time, green-building was not a common term and transit oriented development was not typically constructed in the rail corridors of the Bay Area.
Purchasing the building and site, Weston and Miles developed the project as the developer, architect, contractor and LEED Consultant. Despite the difficulty of both design and construction, WMA and the team at Weston Construction skillfully renovated the old industrial building. Great care was taken to preserve the building's integrity and character while developing it to meet a number of goals: historic building reuse, LEED Certification, sustainable building, and adherence to a very limited budget.
These goals were achieved by designing an adaptive reuse of the existing building and retaining its form, structure, and foundation. The project transformed the drafty, dark industrial building into an efficient, bright structure using both Savings by Design and LEED criteria in addition to traditional design practices. The Granary was the 25th LEED Gold Certified project in the world, missing Platinum by just one point.
The award-winning building received the Structures Award from the Silicon Valley Business Journal and the Commercial Project of the year in 2009 from the California Redevelopment Agency.
The Granary project has spurred other development in the downtown along Depot Street including a federal grant for the reconstruction of the street, the Barley Place development of 16 residential units, and over 150 new residential and commercial units along Depot St.
Today the Granary District, comprised of Weston Miles projects, preserves this piece of the city's agricultural past while providing a "gateway" project at the northeast downtown entry.