JAMESTOWN – An historic downtown building is getting a minor exterior renovation.
According to Peter Lombardi with the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, a Chicago-based artist and painter has been hired to help improve the exterior façade of the Arcade Building, located on the east side of North Main Street between First Street and the railroad viaduct.
Lombardi says the JRC and the Jamestown Department of Development have each committed $2500 in the effort to hire artist Chris Toepfer to help beautify the exterior of the space.
“The city and the JRC are committing a small amount of money to basically have this artist here for the next few days to paint plywood and install it in the arcade building, Lombardi explained to WRFA on Tuesday. “It’s not a transformation of the building but it’s meant to increase its aesthetic value to compliment the improvements that are happening around it right now.”
Accoring to Toepfer, the project is similar to others he’s been involved with around the country.
“This is something we do all over the country. We’re based in Chicago and we work weith vacant residential and commercial buildings. I kind of look at this as one step toward the eventual renovation of a building. it’s a necessary step because no one wants to put a lot of money into buildings that are dangerous and unsightly. So this is something that makes it look a lot better and more importantly, it makes it a lot safer. It keeps the people from breaking in which has been a big problem here.”
Toepfer adds that he expects the project to be completed by the end of October.
The Arcade building is an historic structure in the city that dates back to the 19th century. Among its many highlights was an appearance by Teddy Roosevelt, who spoke from the second floor to a gathered audience below while campaigning for president.
You can hear more from both Toepfer and Peter Lombardi this Friday at 1 p.m. during WRFA’s Arts on Fire program.