The Closet, a non-profit thrift shop in the heart of historic downtown Herndon, re-opened in the Fall of 2020 with an expanded donation center following the recent completion of the 550 sq. ft. addition by HomeAid Northern Virginia. The new donation center structure in the rear of the store is a significant upgrade to the previously-used outdoor area where donations were left open to the elements for volunteers to sort, tag, and bring inside the retail shop.
“For the last decade, we’ve been operating with the weather beating down on the workers out there, and often jeopardizing the donations,” said The Closet of Greater Herndon board president Gene Wiley. “This addition is going to make a real difference in how we operate. It will make dropping off donations a much more efficient experience for our donors, and it will certainly provide a more productive space for our workers and volunteers. As we reopen, we’re excited to accept donations again, and enjoy this beautiful new space for sorting and processing everything for the clients who depend on us.”
The donation center was completed by Builder Captain Richmond American Homes, and 23 construction trade partners that donated labor, time, materials, and expertise to the project, saving The Closet just over 55% of the cost of construction. The new structure provides protection from the weather for workers, volunteers, donators and donations alike. It includes features such as radiant heating systems, ceiling fans, as well as custom fabricated doors.
Historic Tie-in to Herndon Railroad History
In a historic district and sitting directly in front of Herndon City Hall, construction of the donation center required Heritage Preservation Review Board approval in addition to regular permitting. The architecture of the structure focuses on the town’s railroad history, drawing inspiration from the historic Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) railroad that had run steps away from the building and a 1940’s caboose on display nearby. The donation center has a depot-like quality to its construction, and its boxcar-red color, corrugated metal roof and large sliding doors evoke that same theme. As part of the project, the HANV team also replaced a stairwell with a handicapped ramp so that the retail area will be ADA compliant for the first time since its opening in this location in 2000.