A place of her own with history and high ceilings – 1-bedroom loft in Warehouse Arts District is a ‘dream come true’

photo by: Mike Yoder/Journal-World

Katie Nelson’s Poehler Loft apartment — a former warehouse built in 1904 that has been rehabbed — is located in the heart of the Warehouse Arts District in East Lawrence.

When Katie Nelson was debating whether to move on from Lawrence, one factor played a key part in her decision to stay put: an apartment availability at Poehler Lofts, 619 E. Eighth St.

“I’ve been wanting to live at Poehler since I moved to Lawrence last year, so it’s kind of like a dream come true finally getting in here,” Nelson told the Journal-World Wednesday.

Nelson, now a leasing agent at Poehler, has been living for about two months in the apartment, where a full wall of exposed brick reminds her of a New York loft. She also is a big fan of the unit’s high ceilings, which she estimates are around 16 feet and which lend a spacious feel to the approximately 700-square-foot apartment.

photo by: Mike Yoder/Journal-World

Katie Nelson’s Poehler Loft apartment has 16-foot ceilings, which provide a spacious feeling for a one-bedroom apartment of just under 700 square feet.

The open floor plan and polished cement flooring also make her list of things to love. Nelson even rides around the apartment on a Razor scooter, a benefit of the smooth floors.

On top of reveling in the new place, Nelson is thrilled that she gets to decorate it, especially because she had previously shared an apartment with a roommate whose decor tastes differed from her own.

One of her personal touches is a shelf of plants near one of the unit’s tall windows. Many of the plants are cuttings inherited from friends and family members. Nelson nursed the plants back into healthy growth, and they’re in pots from the Jungle House store, which is just down the street from her building.

photo by: Mike Yoder/Journal-World

Katie Nelson enjoys growing and caring for plants. Some of the plants she tends are on a stand near an east-facing window and were sourced from friends and family and from the nearby Jungle House, 924 Delaware St.

“It brings me a lot of peace having lots of plants and stuff in here,” Nelson said. “It really makes me feel like I’m outside even when I’m not outside, and there’s just good airflow in here. I have one that’s specifically for air quality; they’re really good to have in there.”

The apartment is also a space that Nelson can fill with as many secondhand or vintage furniture pieces as she likes, like a pair of couches upholstered in blue velvet or a TV stand fashioned out of a locker, or with racks displaying some of her favorite clothing pieces.

photo by: Mike Yoder/Journal-World

Nelson’s first level loft apartment has one bedroom and one bath and polished concrete flooring throughout.

“Previously, I never really had a space where I was living at that felt like ‘mine’ and that I wanted to be at all the time,” Nelson said. “At my old place, I felt like I was always wanting to be out and never at home, but now I feel like I’m in a ‘home.'”

photo by: Mike Yoder/Journal-World

The kitchen, with a long hallway to the front entrance at right, is open to the living room and the apartment’s two east-facing windows.


Poehler Lofts, in the Warehouse Arts District in East Lawrence, is a building with a long history — hinted at in the words emblazoned on the building’s side — “Theo. Poehler Mercantile Co. Wholesale Grocers.” The brick building, constructed in 1904, was once the home of one of the largest grocery wholesalers in the region in the early 20th century.

The history of the building and its namesake, Theodore Poehler Jr., were covered extensively by the Journal-World back in 2011, the year before it was renovated and became the home of nearly 50 apartments.

photo by: Mike Yoder/Journal-World

Poehler Lofts, 619 E. Eighth St., is a former warehouse built in 1904 that has been rehabbed into modern loft apartments.

That historic feel is still present in the building, which is about half a mile from Massachusetts Street. The exposed brick Nelson loves so much is original, as are the wooden beams and poles positioned throughout the unit.

Nelson has fully embraced living in the heart of the arts district. The walls in her unit are dotted with art pieces, some of which are reclaimed. A large mixed-media piece made with stretched strips of cloth across a large gray canvas was found in the building’s basement after going unclaimed for years, for example. Other pieces were created by Nelson herself, like the skateboard decks leaning against another wall. One is fully painted in a shock of colors, while another is a work in progress.

photo by: Mike Yoder/Journal-World

At the north entryway is a mural created by Lawrence artist KT Walsh. The piece traces the cultural history of the Poehler Building and its environs at the east end of Eighth Street. Included are portraits of Theodore and Sophie Poehler, Exodusters, Mexican railroad workers and references to La Yarda, German immigrants, Native Americans, farmers and a giant reproduction of one of the iconic Poehler can labels with its polar bear emblem.

Nelson is studying interior design and hopes to stage homes one day, so the open living space in her current home gives her a chance to practice. Her apartment also gives her the space to work on projects like her painted skateboards or the next project on her list: custom carpets.

“Being in the arts district has actually been such a blessing, because it’s inspired me to do more art,” Nelson said.

photo by: Mike Yoder/Journal-World

A southwest entrance to Poehler Lofts, 619 E. Eighth St.


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