Thursday, May 19, 2016

West-side facade project progress at sunrise

Once a month, volunteers from the Design Division of Chariton Area Chamber-Main Street show up on the square at 6 a.m. to "police" the area --- in the sense of "let's pick up cigarette butts" and "wouldn't it be fun to scrape matted leaves out of the gutter?" Most of the time I make it, but several times I don't (it's not a challenge to arise early; leaving the house is another matter).

But I made it Wednesday and took a few photos of progress on west-side facade-improvement projects, too, as the sun was rising over the courthouse and before cars had started parking in front of the relevant buildings.

As you can see from the first photo, the facade of the Stanton-Johansen building is nearing completion. The street-level storefront has been entirely reordered and rebuilt and two of the three big upstairs windows --- originals restored offsite --- are back in place. The prism glass is back in place in the transom after restoration, too. 

Just to the south, at The Office, the street-level storefront has been rebuilt, but that great old sign advertising the popular west-side bar in an earlier incarnation --- painted on glass --- emerged during the process. I'm not sure what the final signage plans are here and a few other finishing touches remain on this facade. Upstairs, all of the brick was repaired and repointed and new windows installed. No attempt was made here to (very expensively) restore the bricked-up portions of the original window openings. And the loss of the elaborate cast-metal cornice of this building, removed long ago, is permanent.

Painting has begun on the street-level cast iron storefront and other trim on the Good Luck Building, following restoration of the giant horseshoe window above. Here, too, brickwork has been repaired and repointed, but the original cast-metal cornice, also removed many years ago, is a permanent loss.

At the north end of the west side, restoration of the Chariton Vision Center/Hollinger & Larimer facade is nearly complete. Those giant second-floor windows are restored originals, previously boarded up. A fixed canopy will be installed on this building as the project continues.

One of the most ambitious projects on the west side, restoration of the north half of the Manning & Penick Building, has yet to begin, but a sign in the window of K. Threlkeld Insurance shows how the project will look when complete. This comes very close to replicating the original design --- fortunately, the original arched windows were stored on the top floor after an earlier redesign. The south half of this building is not involved in the facade improvement program.

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