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krazeeboi

Facade restoration of storefronts

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Any of you guys have any examples of storefront facade renovations in your city, either already complete, in progress, or proposed? Any storefronts that are prime candidates for restoration? This can apply to original facades that have been covered up with other materials, or original facades in states of disrepair.

Don't really know of any in Charlotte, but I did find this great example online:

Before

12_gallery_image1.jpg

After

12_IMG_0724%20copy_1024.JPG

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What a difference the facade makes! Unfortunately in Charlotte, facade alterations seem to change the look of a building for the worse.

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I wonder what was the prevailing mindset during the time when so many classic, historic storefronts were stuccoed, plastered, and boarded over. Surely the reasons could NOT have been aesthetic.

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If you go back and read old plans, the idea was to recreate the suburban strip mall appearance in a downtown, so it was very much aesthetic. That's why so many historic buildings lost out to parking lots and why so many buildings got crappy facades. It was just the prevailing urban design principle at the time. Ornate a decorative buildings were out. You had to look sleek and modern to succeed. If I think about it I will take an except from a city plan that I have that dates back to the 70s and post it here.

Charleston was the first city in America to delve into historic preservation, and as a result they have retained most of their old store fronts. The city offers grants to restore the historic facades, and if you visit the Upper King Street district you can see it for yourself.

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I suppose it's just hard to imagine several of those "fake" facades ever having been perceived as "slick" and "modern." And the funny thing is that the stores in suburban malls try to conjure up a faux Main Street storefront feel with their entrances.

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We are fortunate here in Raleigh to have a developer that seems to enjoy restoring older buildings. Here is a picture of some of the original facades restored in Raleigh:

FayettvilleSt.jpg

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