Detail of the tiled entrance to the staircase that leads to second-story apartments and (originally) offices in the Oppenheimer and Storie buildings. No, I didn't move cigarette butts.
I spent part of Sunday afternoon taking, processing and posting photos of Main Street District buildings, part of an ongoing and seemingy endless project that you can take a look at by hitting the "Chariton's Square Deal Blog" link in the sidebar here. Remember, that it's a work in progress.
One thing you notice while doing this sort of thing is the attention paid to detail when these old buildings were designed and built --- a thing of the past.
The tile work here is on the floors of entrances to the Oppenheimer and Lockwood buildings, two of four wonderfully harmonious buildings that went up during 1904 to replace earlier buildings destroyed in a disastrous fire of January, that year. That fire took out earlier buildings owned by the Lockwood, Storie and Oppenheimer families as well as the massive Mallory Opera Block.
The four "new" buildings are (from the right) Hollinger & Larimer, Oppenheimer, Storie and Lockwood. There probably were similar tiled entrances to the Storie and Holliger & Larimer buildings, but these have been swept away by later renovations. This type of work also is evident in the entry to the east-side State Theater Building, very similar to the Lockwood Building.
Here is a complete view of the Oppenheimer-Storie staircase entry --- there obviously is no janitor here to sweep the entrance that now serves upstairs apartments.
And these are the entrances to the two storefronts in the Oppenheimer Building. Yes, I could have moved the mats --- but I didn't.
And here is the entrance to the Lockwood Building, now unoccupied and for sale. Although I've never seen it, the second-floor apartment in the Lockwood Building is reportedly among the most elaborate around the square since it was designed as the home of the Lockwoods, who operated a jewelry store in this building.
The most likely candidate for designer of these four buildings is Chariton architect and contractor O.A. Hougland, but so far at least nothing has turned up to confirm that.