5 Amazing Reuse Ideas of Abandoned Properties

5 Amazing Reuse Ideas of Abandoned Properties

After a building falls into disuse or is abandoned, finding creative ways to reuse the abandoned property can breathe new life not only into the old building but also the entire neighborhood. Nowadays, there are tons of examples of beautiful architects repurposing beautiful abandoned building which conserves not only the natural resources, but also preserves the historic value of the building. Whether reusing an abandoned building is done for an environmental reason, due to a land shortage or through a desire to preserve a historic landmark, many architects all over the world are using adaptive reuse as a way to solve many problems of the modern urban environment.

Buildings that are still structurally sound may be reused rather than being torn down. Here are five awesome ideas on repurposing an abandoned property into something amazing.

1. An Old Barn or Stable Can Become a Rustic Home

If you enjoy country living, consider repurposing a property with an old barn. As long as the barn is still structurally sound, an old barn or stable can be made into a rustic cabin style home. The weathered wood has tons of character, and a hayloft will provide an interesting extra room. However, an old barn will require quite a bit of insulation and interior finishing to create a comfortable home environment.

2. An Abandoned Church Can Also Become a Home

There are quite a few abandoned churches across the country, many in residential neighborhoods. An abandoned church will likely need minimal retrofitting to make a comfortable home; they have already been built to local codes, they have bathrooms, and many churches even have a kitchen. A nice plus to repurposing a church; many churches have beautiful stained-glass windows, as well as lovely architectural features, such as vaulted ceilings. Likewise, an abandoned church can often be purchased for below market value as a similar sized house.

3. Abandoned Commercial Buildings Can Be Repurposed as a Library

There are many interesting old commercial buildings that have been reused as a community library or even a community center. Often, an old factory or storefront has some historic value to the community, and reusing it to serve the community is very appropriate reuse. By remodeling an old commercial building into a public building, such as a library, it also serves to teach children and new community members about the history of where they live.

4. Abandoned Vacant Lots Can Be Turned into a Community Garden or Green Space

There are many acres of abandoned lots dotting many major U.S. cities. Community organizers and local non-profits have successfully turned these garbage-strewn lots into blooming gardens and green spaces. Teaching both inner-city children and adults how to grow food, and even flowers benefit the neighborhood on many levels. Studies also show that urban community gardens have many benefits, including providing the neighborhood with fresh, affordable produce, and improving neighborhood air quality.

5. Abandoned Gas Stations Can Be Turned Into Trendy Cafes

More than 50,000 gas stations have been closed in the United States since the mid-1990s, and many of them remain vacant to this day. They often sit on sites polluted by leaking fuel tanks and remain a reminder of what has been called suburban blight. One trend taking hold all across the country is transforming an old gas station into a cute coffee shop or sidewalk cafe. 1950s or Deco-style gas stations are perfect for this reuse project. However, such an abandoned property will need a Phase One Environmental Site Assessment, as well as possible Phase Two and Three assessments, and the following clean-up and environmental remediation of the site. Nevertheless, when the cleanup process is complete, the old gas station is ready to be repurposed and refinished into a cute little sidewalk cafe.

Abandoned properties can often be purchased very cheaply, and with some creativity and a little elbow grease, these sad structures can have a new life and purpose, either as a private residence, or a place for the entire neighborhood to gather.

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