U.S. Rep Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa City), above right, who represents Iowa's 2nd Congressional District, last toured the Hotel Charitone during April of 2013, when work was just beginning. That's how it looked on that chilly day below.
On Friday, he was back for a tour of the completed project with, among others (top, from left), Alyse, Kris and Raymond. Alyse and Raymond are principals in the Lucas County Preservation Alliance and Hotel Charitone LLC; Kris, Main Street coordinator for Chariton Area Chamber/Main Street.
Once inside, there was time for a little visiting in the restored lobby and bar area of the Hotel Charitone Market Grille (that's Shantel, Chariton Area Chamber/Main Street director on the left), then upstairs to the third floor where Linda and John Braida opened their apartment for a tour.
Ray outlined some of the challenges involved in conforming to Department of the Interior restoration standards when dealing with an historic building. Alyse stressed the importance of the federal historic preservation tax credit program, a major source of funding for projects like the Charitone that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
After a trip down the new fire escape attached to the northeast corner of the building, the party re-entered the Charitone through the resident entrance and returned to the Market Grille for a quick tour of the the main dining room and kitchens, conducted by Greg, restaurant manager.
Before Loebsack and his legislative aide, Dien Judge, left the building, Greg passed around chocolate-covered mints prepared in the candy kitchen at Piper's, just across North Grand Street to the west. The mints are just one of the ways the Market Grille is integrated into the community, Greg said, adding that Copy Plus --- farther down Braden to the west --- produces the wrappings.