Miami is a town of approximately 13,000 people in the northeast corner of Oklahoma. The Mining Exchange Building is located in the National Register listed downtown historic district. Miami became the financial center of the tri-state (Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas) mining district after the discovery of rich lead and zinc ore deposits in 1914. Built circa 1918, the Mining Exchange Building contained a variety of tenants related to the mining industry through World War II.
By the early twenty-first century, the building had only a few tenants and several vacant floors. Historic offices had been removed, as each floor had been gutted. Replacement windows were incompatible with the building’s historic character. Developers Tammi Creason and Debra Hart recognized the need and opportunity for affordable housing in the area and purchased the building for rehabilitation.
Rosin Preservation collaborated with Stark Wilson Duncan Architects to ensure the proposed work met the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. The most dramatic transformation was on the exterior when the windows were replaced to match the configuration and appearance of the original windows, which were visible in a historic photograph. On the interior, the historic lobby, with its mosaic tile floor, marble wainscoted walls, and coffered ceiling, was restored. Common amenity space was created on the ground floor. Upper floors were rehabilitated into apartments with a central corridor, recreating the general historic configuration of offices flanking a central corridor.
The rehabilitation of this historic building provides twenty-four affordable apartments for the area’s seniors. The retention of the building’s historic fabric contributes to the character of the surrounding downtown neighborhood and maintains a significant piece of the town’s built environment.