Friday, January 13, 2006

The Web Drug Store Restoration

The Web Drug Store built in c.1850s. The building is undergoing extensive renovation. Picture taken in Jan 2006

Located on 409 E. 13th St, this building may not look historical but most of it dates back to the early 1850s. According to Mark Clark, owner of the building, it appears that it was first constructed as a single story building (the left side) then the second floor was added in subsequent years. The right side of the building was also added years later and has had numerous additions and renovation throughout its lifetime.
When Mr. Clark bought the commercial building, the exterior was covered in white stucco and did not have the balcony that is in the picture and the interior was nothing like the original interior modified numerous times. The ceiling had severeal layers of asbestos and the interior walls also had several different layers of paint. At one point, the interior was painted orange, according to Mr. Clark. The restoration of the building began in the summer of 2005 and slowly begun the painful and slow restoration of the buiilding as close to the original as possible. One notible exception it the hadicap restroom being built in the little courtyard behind the building. The handicap codes must also aply to historical buildings.
Once completed, Mr. Clark intends on putting in an art galleria and at the current pace of restoration, could happen sometime this year. Mr. Clark's historic building is one of several buildings that are undergoing restoration in the downtown area as are historical homes both in the east and west downtown. It is people like Mr. Clark and other owners who are resotirng their buldings that help revitalize the downtown and hope that it creates a ripple effect to other owners in the downtown area to follow suit and slowly but surely, bring back to life and the architecture that has for so long been missing from our beloved and architecturaly sacred downtown.
To all the people who have or are in the process of restoring the historical commercial buildings and residential homes, Thank You!


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