On Hatteberg’s People, in Hutchinson Lloyd Armstrong lives in the past, while building for the future. He owns buildings that are part of the Antique District of Hutchinson’s Main Street. But his story is not in the antiques of the past, but in the lofty ideas of the future.
“Ten to twelve years ago there was very little on South Main Street in Hutchinson, Kansas.”
Lloyd Armstrong is helping change that.
“The whole excitement of downtown being a place to come to is coming back now.”
But his store in the Antique District isn’t what all the fuss is about.
“My thing is to inspire other people to do more.”
So, just a few feet from his antique store and up the 20 plus stairs, Lloyd is an urban pioneer in downtown Hutchinson building lofts.
“Every day that I came up there was a different aspect to what I could and how to meet the challenge of the day.”
His loft is he and his wife Ann’s pride and joy.
“A certain percentage of the population of your city should live downtown.”
It is energy efficient, but more than that, it retains the history of the area. One wall is the remaining sign for ‘Royal Blue Shoes’ that sold for $3.50.
“The Royal Blue sign, I’m thinking was around the turn of the century about 1900.”
Lloyd studied the city code, hired good contractors and made what was, an old boarding house, into a loft that keeps the history intact, yet rolls with the modern era.
“The thing about lofts in these old buildings is that no two will be alike.”
“When I came up here and I saw this I said this is going to be beautiful and this will be Hutchinson’s first loft. With the quality of workmanship on these buildings, they will be here another hundred years if we take care of them.”
“You were putting plumbing where there has never been plumbing, you were putting electrical where there was never electrical, even central heat and air and this building when it was built, had wood stoves.”
“It was one of the last rooms done and then the exposed plumbing, the brick wall; the claw foot tub was all a challenge.”
With the completed loft, Lloyd says others also see the possibilities.
“You know they say I never thought about living in a loft, well we can!”
“It’s just another job done!”