Merced County Times Newspaper
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The Tioga to receive preservation award

The Tioga apartment project in Merced will be presented with a prestigious Preservation Design Award for Rehabilitation at the 38th Annual California Preservation Awards.

The winning projects and teams will be formally recognized at both in-person events and online during a free, public ceremony to be scheduled for October.

The jury selected 20 winners this year, each highlighting innovative approaches to preservation: restoring the brilliance of the classic Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, creating low-income housing and community spaces in a former funeral home, matching pets with people at a San Francisco animal shelter in a rehabilitated 1893 warehouse, and mapping projects and books that bring the historic architecture of California to life.

The annual California Preservation Awards recognizes significant achievements in architecture, history, design, and engineering, and showcases the leading people and patrons who make it all possible. The Board of Trustees of the California Preservation Foundation congratulate the teams behind each winning project and thank them for their important contributions to preservation. For more information, go online to: californiapreservation.org/awards.

The Tioga, built in 1928 as the Hotel Tioga, was rehabilitated as a 70-unit apartment building for professionals and UC Merced graduate students. Rehabilitation of the Tioga, strongly supported by the City of Merced, was a catalyst for Main Street’s resurgence, bringing new jobs, economic opportunity, and nightlife to the city’s historic core. The project included the redesign of the existing rooms into studio, one, and two-bedroom units with 20 units adaptable for persons with disabilities. The ground floor and mezzanine level provide a tenant lounge and other shared amenities. The project completely reimagined the original historic lobby that had been divided into five rooms. Exterior facades were restored, including replacement of existing windows with energy-efficient windows of the same style.

As the tallest building in Merced, the Tioga is visible from a distance, especially at night when the restored rooftop sign is illuminated. Rehabilitation of the Tioga created desirable rental housing downtown, targeting students at UC Merced and others who are seeking an urban living experience. With a brewery planned for the ground level, a renovated theater and restaurant across the street, and a new hotel a block away, Merced’s Main Street is again becoming a destination for entertainment, restaurants, and urban living.

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