Friedman Place is a fairly large building, with 81 studio or one-bedroom apartments, a commercial kitchen, a dining room, activity rooms on each floor and an assortment of offices throughout. Despite the size of our main building, some of our programs were outgrowing their space, so our Board of Directors began to consider some new options. In 2015, the two-story building just south of our main building became available for purchase. Our purchase offer was accepted and we bought what is now known as our Annex building. After buying it,extensive updating was needed before it could be occupied.
Renovations to the Annex building were completed in the first half of 2016, and it officially opened in August 2016. The first floor is the new home of our popular Therapeutic Weaving Program, which is now a part of Friedman Place's David Herman Learning Center as inscribed on the Annex front door. The larger weaving studio offers plenty of space for Residents to use all of our looms and adds lots of new storage space for weaving supplies. The weaving studio’s large storefront window looks out onto Lincoln Avenue, and gives people on the street a peek at Residents hard at work on their beautiful weavings. The first floor also provides some extra space for conference rooms or classrooms and even office space if it’s needed in the future. The second floor of the Annex has a three bedroom apartment that houses Friedman Place’s new Transitional Living Program, which officially opened in September. This program provides affordable housing and some case management services to blind or visually impaired residents that need less staff support and services than residents of our main building. The program is a path to independent living for its residents as they learn and improve their daily living skills so that they can to move out on their own in the community, within two years. The Transitional Living Program Apartment’s Residents are welcomed and encouraged to be a part of the active community that the residents of our main building enjoy.
In November, a walkway was completed which connects the buildings and provides shelter from the weather and gives weavers a safe path they can follow between the two buildings. The walkway cuts through the courtyard between the two buildings, which was also updated to create an outdoor sitting area that features the Three Sisters Fountain. The fountain was installed in Spring of 2016 in honor of the sisters of David Herman who was a former long-time resident and enthusiastic weaver. We celebrated the opening of the Annex with an Open House in November.