Saturday, January 26, 2013

Around Town - Commercial Mid Century Buildings

Commercial architecture isn't the most glamorous thing and old commercial architecture is viewed with a certain amount of distaste by some.  I, however, really enjoy it.  I like how commercial buildings can still reflect the design aesthetic of the time.  I went out this morning and got photos of some of my favorites.  I live in a small town, so the pickings are few but I like them.

This building actually has a pretty long history.  Underneath the 1950s paneling and wavy awning is a stone building constructed sometime around 1900.  It was the I.H. Kent Store for a long time.  I.H. Kent had a lumber yard and this general goods store.  Back in the 1910s, it was one of the few places you could buy gasoline - by the container, pumps wouldn't be common until the 1920s.  The store was damaged in 1954 during the Fairview earthquakes, so they covered up the damage with the pink enamel paneling and tiles.  Sadly it's vacant right now.

The architecture of this liquor store intrigues me.  I know of at least two other examples with the same shed roof and projecting beams - both of which are liquor stores in Reno.  It's on my list to do some research to figure out what the deal is with them.

Churchill County Library, mid 1960s.  The County wants to replace it with a larger, more modern library.  I like it just the way it is.

Ok, so technically the Fallon Theater isn't a mid century building.  It was constructed in about 1914 and the red "Fallon" sign was added in the 1930s.  It was the largest theater in Nevada when it was built and was such a big deal, people were bused in from Reno and Carson City on its opening night.  It's been for sale for a while (still operating, however).  It's my dream to form a non profit to buy it, fix it up, and run it as a both an art house theater and a first run movie theater.  I'm working up the courage to talk to the owner.  It was originally a Vaudeville theater - I'm wondering if there's still a stage.

This is the Churchill County Communications Building.  Truly only a mid century maniac like me would like it.  The cool thing about CC Communications is that it's the only county run phone company in the country.  It goes way, way back in Fallon's history.
Ok, so this one is neither mid century nor commercial but it's one of my favorite buildings - Hariom Apartments, an 8 plex.  I think it goes back to the 1930s.

I loves me an old motel.  I'm super glad the owners haven't tried to modernize the exterior of this one.
I'm not entirely sure this one is occupied.  I'd love to think of a business to run out of it.  Cute little masonry building with clerestory windows.

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