Original Ames Storefront Lands State Grant For Facelift

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AMES, Iowa- An Ames business has been awarded a challenge grant though the Iowa Economic Development Authority, Main Street Iowa.

The building at 212 Main Street is the location of London Underground. The $75,000 grant was one of 14 presented to different Iowa communities on Wednesday.

“Stabilizing, repairing, and improving the aesthetics of this building will ‘reset the clock’ of the aging façade,” said Jess Clyde, owner of 212 Main, in a news release. “The goal is to ensure it will be seen as a valuable asset and historic resource of the district for many decades to come.”

On a tour of the structure Thursday morning Clyde showed the first floor, and the vacant 2nd floor, which will be made into one apartment.

“We’re going to fix some of the structural problems we’ll try to make it a lot more attractive on the exterior, kind of matches what we feel like the interior is now,” said Clyde.

The 1880’s structure has a crack in a supporting beam which is causing it to turn, so that area will be fixed, in addition to the cosmetic improvements.

“We need to save this building,” said Cindy Hicks, Executive Director of the MSCD. “This building calls attention to the earlier architecture existing in downtown before the extensive face-lift on many building between 1915 and the 1950’s and is the only original façade left on our historic Main Street.”

The project will cost around $250,000. Designers will work on the project in the coming months, construction will get underway in 2018.

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