Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Full Circle

Our downtown showroom began life as an automobile dealership in the early 1900’s. The larger of the two buildings on the left is the newest of the two being built in 1920. I guess that dealership lasted about 25 years or so before the owner decided to go into the bowling business. It’s my understanding that it was around 1945 when our building was converted to a bowling alley. It operated as such until 2006.

This photo shows how the property appeared in June of 2007 when we acquired it. I can’t quite recall just when but the lovely steel facade was installed sometime in the early 1970’s. The seventy’s were tough times for historic properties like this. It was the beginning of mall madness and everyone thought their buildings needed to look streamline and sporty. Now, if you know me you understand that I have nothing against contemporary architecture. But 9 and a half times out of 10 trying to turn an early 1900’s property into a contemporary looking building fails miserably.

So often people try to make buildings into something they were never meant to be. The garbage tacked on the front of this building was not in keeping with the neighborhood and completely obliterated the outstanding historic façade. So we rip off the “improvements” and this is what our building looks like now. The old building face was still intact under the steel but in poor repair so it took some effort to bring it back. But all well worth it. This building once again is accomplishing it’s original intent. To be a traditional façade in an historic neighborhood rather than a wanabe mall in the wrong location. I find it ironic that a building built to sell the all new automobile at the turn of the century is now housing horse drawn vehicles ninety years later.

We continue to pound out the Whiskey project. Here Dale is making a last fitting of the body before it goes in for paint. Everything lines up and fits as it should so he is ready to throw some paint at it.

The body and the chassis have been primed and sanded twice now. At this stage of the game we do our best not to break through the skin of the primer to expose any wood. The primer acts as both a filler and sealer.

Brandon has been sanding away on a wheel this afternoon. Bob has been working on the other and both are nearing the point where they are ready for second coat primer.

The upholstery for the wedge seat is taking some shape. Ryanne has the other flat cushion sewn and ready to pull buttons on that one too. I like the contrast of black buttons and piping with the tan Bedford cord. Really a classic, traditional appearance in keeping with a sporting vehicle such as this.

We are finally in the paint stage. The body was shiny and black by the end of the day. It looks really good. Smooth, level, and after a wet sanding and more clear it should look like glass. Let’s hope for a bright red blog tomorrow.

Have a great day.



Robbi said...

I can't believe what your building looked two years ago compared to now.
What a huge difference and a great one.
I love old buildings.

Keep up the great work!

Carriage is coming along nicely.

Toddersville said...

Hi Robbie,

Thanks for watching. I'm a big fan of old buildings too. It's really fun to bringing them back. It was nice meeting you during the PE day as breif as it was.


Grinder said...

I'll have to send this blog to my brother - his specialty is historical restoration.

He loves Columbus!

Toddersville said...

Thanks Rod! Checked it out. Very impressive. I really liked the New Holland project. Wow. You didn't tell me you had an architect brother. Let's get him up here!

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