This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Restoration and Renovation continued

Yesterday we began a tour of the old Beaver News building that Ryan Musch wants to transform into an event center. We entered the building and looked at the main room, Behind that room is a smaller room that clearly was added later. The old exterior has not been hidden, probably because this room was never meant to be seen by the public.
This room is also full of stuff, including more magazine racks.
There were boxes and boxes of old paper--probably business records--that were ready for the recycling center.
I was fascinated by this old cash register. My father had one of this vintage when he ran his store. He loaned it to another business for a retail promotion--Frontier Days or something like that--and never got it back. And that is probably the reason that it interested me.
Coming back into the main room, you can see the wonderful banister of the stairs that lead to the second floor. At the top of the stairs is a door that lies flat with the floor above and has to be lifted to gain access to the space above. The door under the stairs leads to the basement, which I did not see, but was told there was not much there. The old safe that was mentioned in the last post is in the little room next to these stairs. I doubt if that safe can be removed. The was probably installed during the construction of the building.
The second floor was used for storage and there is still a lot to be cleaned out. There is a door at the end that leads to an interesting space that we will look at in the next post.
Other than the junk that needs to be cleaned out, the most striking thing about this space is the ceiling. Clearly at some time in the past. the roof leaked. About half of the plaster has come down. However, the floor is still in good shape, so the leakage must have been repaired before it got too serious.
Advancing toward the door in the front of the room and looking back,  this is what you see. The stairs are on the right, and on the left is what seems to have been a dumbwaiter or elevator of some kind. There are still pulleys, but nothing else. There were once windows on the wall in the back and they could be restored because the addition to the building is only one story.
At one time this space could be reached from an exterior stairs, and you can see the entry if you look at the building from Jack's Uptown Service. There is a door twelve feet up on the wall. My guess is that there was a stairway between this building and the building that was next to it, an impressive three-story building that was a furniture store when it burned fifty or sixty years ago.

1 comment:

Gene said...

I remember when my dad, when he was the Jasper County courthouse custodian bought things from Warner's Hardware in the 1940s. And I remember when I was a little brat standing outside our house on the East side of town on the corner of Melville and Angelica Street and watching the flames and billowing black smoke above the trees from the burning Wright's Furniture store.

Yep... I'm and old codger, that's fer sure.