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Downtown facades: Old bricks get restored glitz

Long home to the Chicago Store, for years now the century-old building at Congress and 6th Avenue has looked anything but regal, with boarded-up windows on its upper floor and a deteriorating exterior. But now the building is getting a facelift thanks to a grant from the city’s Downtown Facade Improvement Program, which focuses on preserving historic buildings.... Read more»

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9 comments on this story

1
2 comments
Dec 6, 2012, 6:53 pm
-0 +1

Glad our tax dollars are being used to protect your investment, Fregonese.

2
1768 comments
Dec 6, 2012, 8:02 pm
-0 +0

Wow, I never thought I’d say this, but finally money is being spent downtown for a productive purpose. just typing that out felt weird!

The Chicago Store has long been a staple of downtown, and provides goods that actually enrich our community. Due to their loyalty to the community, and the longevity of not just their business but being in the same location, I think that they’re very worthy of this windfall.

I am hoping that the look and the feel of the building will stay the same.

3
4 comments
Dec 6, 2012, 8:40 pm
-0 +0

Surly - he used $100,000 of HIS own money to help protect his investment along with the $100,000 he received for the project. This is much more than just someone throwing money around. This is something that was sorely needed. The revitalization continues in leaps and bounds. As someone who works downtown, I’m glad to see these projects happening.

4
2 comments
Dec 6, 2012, 8:45 pm
-0 +0

he wanted the grant… to protect his investment.  Read the quote.

5
4 comments
Dec 6, 2012, 8:48 pm
-0 +0

Well of course he wanted to protect his investment!! What business wouldn’t? With him being in a historic building, it made perfect sense. I don’t begrudge him one dollar of that grant.

6
543 comments
Dec 6, 2012, 8:54 pm
-0 +1

@Bret Linden,

The facade grant program isn’t something new. Previous grantees include the Beowulf Alley Theatre, The Screening Room, the Rialto Building, and other locations downtown.

7
1768 comments
Dec 7, 2012, 8:55 am
-0 +0

@Dylan Smith

Well, I am aware the facade thing has been going on for a few years now.  Though I am slightly familiar with the Beowulf and the Screening room, I am not familiar enough to speak intelligently about those two.

The Rialto on the other hand…I like the Rialto. It has character, and good acoustics (not great) for concerts. I’ve been to many concerts there, most of which have been sell outs. However, the thing has been a money pit for tax dollars over the last decade or so. I cringe at the though of that place being given even one more tax dollar. Biggers or whatever moron runs that place now…if they can’t be self-sufficient with all the sell out concerts they put on there, then they’re idiots and shouldn’t be running anything.

The Chicago Store, on the other hand, is “anti-Downtown”. What I mean by “anti-Downtown” is that, unlike most other entities having something to do with downtown, they’ve seem to have done everything right. Same name, same location, same business. They’ve been there for at least 30 years that I know about. When Tucsonans decided they’d rather shop at the malls instead of Downtown, the Chicago store has always found a way to survive and keep going in the same location, without constant whining and panhandling like other so-called businesses down there have done over the course of my lifetime.

As I stated before, unlike a lot of other things downtown the Chicago Store actually provides something productive and useful for our community. They’re one of the few places that I would miss if they ever had to close. So, I’m with Mel B here…I too do not begrudge them one dollar of that grant.

8
543 comments
Dec 7, 2012, 9:06 am
-0 +0

@Bret Linden,

AFAIK, the Rialto Theatre has never received any money from the facade grant program. The structure adjoining it, the Rialto Building/Rialto Block, did. Different owners, different building.

Biggers stepped down from his position at the theatre about a year ago.

9
4 comments
Dec 7, 2012, 9:20 am
-0 +0

The Rialto is part of the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District so that’s where the renovation money came from. They didn’t get any money from the Downtown Tucson Partnership Facade program.

Curtis McCrary is the Executive Director/GM now, according to their website.

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Dylan Smith/TucsonSentinel.com

Old familiar signs and tattered murals gone, downtown's Chicago Store is getting a $200,000 facelift under a city program providing matching grants to preserve facades.

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