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719 Grand Avenue renovation turns pages of history

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A bit of Glenwood Springs’ storied previous has been unmasked with the current strip-down and ongoing renovation of the 719 Grand Ave. constructing that previously housed the Candlestick Maker store.

Steve Davis purchased the constructing in March from longtime house owners and store keepers Tom and Joni Weir, who additionally lived within the again half of the primary flooring and rented out a pair of upstairs flats.

Since then, the constructing restoration venture has was a household affair for Davis. His spouse, Marilyn, has been doing historic analysis on the 1890s construction, and their sons Ryan and Michael have been instrumental within the renovation work.

A house-building contractor and Glenwood Springs City Council member, Davis stated they’ve been holding an eye fixed out for a location the place Ryan might arrange a fly-fishing store along side his fishing information enterprise.

The heightened potential for downtown companies as soon as the brand new Grand Avenue bridge is full late subsequent yr made the 719 Grand constructing an apparent selection when the Weirs determined to promote, Davis stated.

“The parking lot in back is the pedestrian gateway into downtown, and there’s just a lot of potential for what this building can be,” he stated.

Plans for the fly store embrace a twin entrance from each the alley and from the Grand Avenue aspect, and the two,500-square-foot retailer will cater to the river way of life, Davis stated.

The constructing’s upstairs is being completely redone into two new residential flats, one of which may have a second-floor deck wanting towards Red Mountain.

Davis additionally sought and obtained approval to rebuild the roof to accommodate a rooftop deck that may be rented out for occasions, together with weddings.

“We also wanted to rebuild it with the future in mind, in case someone wanted to do a rooftop restaurant or something, it’s ready to go,” he stated.

In the meantime, tearing aside the previous place has been an fascinating endeavor.

The constructing was residence to a number of companies in the course of the 20th century, together with the Burdge household mortuary for about 40 years up till the early 1960s, and the Parkison Drug Store earlier than that.

Inside the partitions that have been stripped right down to the unique brick have been previous Denver Post newspapers from the 1930s and a listing for mortuary provides, together with embalming fluid.

“The last time this building was even touched was 1939, from what we could uncover,” Davis stated. “And I think everyone who owned this building left their stuff here.”

The basement was full of relics, together with previous jars and instruments of numerous types.

A lowered ceiling in the primary retailer space was eliminated to disclose what had been empty area for greater than half a century, and a number of other layers of wallpaper have been revealed when the partitions have been stripped.

Another shock was a pair of glass-block home windows above the primary entrance that had been hidden behind wooden paneling. The partitions on each ranges have bricked-in home windows that have been half of the unique stand-alone development earlier than neighboring buildings went up.

Old doorways additionally handed between the buildings, possible harkening again to Glenwood pink mild district days when the chain of buildings on that aspect of Grand Avenue in all probability served as a brothel.

Davis stated he determined to maintain the unique storefront intact after it was uncovered.

“It would have been easier to take that down, but we thought it was important to maintain that history and character,” Davis stated.

“Anytime you strip a building to the bones like this, you find all sorts of challenges,” he stated. “It’s certainly been interesting uncovering the history of this old building and trying to guess how things happened over the years.”

The Davises are engaged on the restoration venture “as time allows” between their different contract jobs. Son Michael can also be the supervisor on a job at 10th and Cooper the place they’re busy turning one other turn-of-the-20th-century construction right into a nine-unit house constructing.

They hope to have the 2 flats on the 719 Grand constructing able to lease out by subsequent summer time, and Ryan stated he’s trying to open the fly store quickly after the Grand Avenue bridge undertaking is completed.



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