December 21: Makeover Reveal

Our façade makeover is complete!
We don’t know exactly when the old gal was built. The courthouse burned in the 1950’s and property records before then were destroyed. But we do know it was sometime in the early 1930’s. Here’s what she originally looked like:
Murray Drug
The door to the left goes to the upstairs. It had an open staircase with advertisements painted on the risers.
I’m not exactly sure when, but probably sometime after the war Murray Drug moved down to the corner where Boomerang Grill is now and my building became a law office for a local attorney named Carl Morgan.
I finally unearthed a photo of this phase of my building’s history. Here’s Oklahoma Avenue in the 1970’s. You can see Murray Drug at its new corner home.
okla_1970
At closer investigation, you can see we were sporting a less-than-attractive shingled roof. I think they were going for the French mansard look, but it was definitely a fail!
swak_1970s
Covering the windows were brick “screens” and the door looks like it belongs in the back alley. I now know why we have such at attractive back entrance. Back in the day, paying a visit to an attorney’s office was extremely private business, so they used the back as the official entrance. It still had the wrought iron “law office” sign on the back door when we purchased the building.
When Mr. Morgan passed away his widow sold the building to another attorney. Their son Bruce, also an attorney, came with the building as a contingency. That’s how we acquired Bruce¬†as our upstairs tenant. I took you on a tour of his old place a few days ago.
The new law office renovated in the early 1990’s¬†and built the¬†front¬†exterior you’ve been accustomed to seeing over the years. Here’s what it looked like shortly after we bought the building.
swak-old
Unfortunately particle board was used for the trim, and termites traveled from a building down the street and ate the façade from the inside out. By the time we knew we had a problem, it was too late.
We had to kill the termites, make¬†sure¬†they¬†were all gone, find a big bucket of money, and finally get on the “list” for the repair man to make it our way. The gal’s face nearly fell off!
swak-ick
Now this is what we look like!
swak-new1
Can’t wait for the cool address numbers I ordered to arrive, and to get the curtains back up.
swak-new
Next up, we’re cutting a huge hole in the middle of the store and ripping out a big hunk of wall. Not as exciting as the front makeover, but it’s very exciting for¬†us considering we’re walking around holes to keep from falling through the floor behind the counter. We’re waiting¬†on insurance company to figure it all out. Naturally, like everything that seems to happen to the poor old gal, it’s a complicated mess. Just another fun day in the life of a historic building owner.
I’ve got to quit painting and get busy for Christmas! Mason and I painted in the windows all day Friday. When we left he commented that we looked like our contractor, who is known simply as “Long Hair”. Mr. Long Hair had a Christmas party Friday night, and Mason thought we should put on beards and go dressed as him. I explained it wasn’t a costume party, so maybe not.
Whenever you paint in the front windows, people passing on the street stop and gawk. I felt like I was on display. I told Mr. Long Hair people were going to think he had a new girl on his crew,¬†and would tell him to fire me in that I was slow, messy, and probably lousy too. Keep your fingers crossed that we’ll get enough money from insurance to pay Mr. Longhair to paint the rest of¬†the inside, or you’ll see me covered in paint again soon.
Come up and see our new look! With only¬†four owners and four looks in over 80 years, we’re glad to be a part of her history.

3 Comments

  • karyndm

    21.12.2014 at 04:57 Reply

    The front looks great and I am sorry I missed the “live” front window display. You should have worn a Mrs. Clause outfit and Mason in an elf costume and then given the New York Christmas windows a run for their money.

  • Jenny E

    21.12.2014 at 15:35 Reply

    I like it!

  • mkinser

    21.12.2014 at 18:17 Reply

    Looks good!

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