News Release from Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept:
The Clothes Tree in downtown Corvallis received an Excellence in Downtown Revitalization Awards for “Best Façade Improvement” from Oregon Main Street on September 15 during the Oregon Main Street Evening of Excellence Celebration in Astoria. The award recognizes the best single exterior facade renovation project that enhances the commercial district in appearance or function and encourages further design improvements. This can include storefront renovation, upper floor renovation, or both. Lori Stephens with Broadleaf Architecture, was on hand to accept the award.
The Clothes Tree building in Corvallis, Oregon, underwent a major facade renovation in 2015-2016. The building was originally built in 1880 with a major renovation in the 1920s and another major renovation in 1963. The recent facade renovation included removal of the 1963 screening, odd adornment, and 1960’s era sign. Underneath the screening was detailed plaster work and remnants of the words “First National Bank”. Damaged plaster was repaired, but the details and wording were given a fresh coat of paint. Metal cornices and pilaster caps were added to the building to take the facade back to an earlier time period. 1960’s adornment on the canopy was removed and the canopy was wrapped in a black metal. The owners added medallions to each pilaster that was meaningful to them. The 1960’s windows and bottom brickwork were retained, but painted a black color. A corner clock from the 1920s was replicated and installed.
“Every building owner, throughout the life of a building, will leave their own impression on that building,” said Lori Stephens, architect on the project. “The new owners of The Clothes Tree building have exposed those past impressions and have now added their own. In this way, historic buildings tell the story of change in a community.”
Nicole Nystrom, owner of The Clothes Tree, says she was inspired by seeing historic photos of the building, and wanted to return the building to something she felt would be timeless and more appropriate with its historic downtown context.
“The restoration of an anchor store such as The Clothes Tree certainly has a major visual impact on a downtown district,” says Sheri Stuart, Oregon Main Street Coordinator. “Above and beyond the thoughtful restoration process in this case is the economic impact on the district. The owner has seen increased traffic and is attracting new clientele. That’s exactly what we hope to achieve in our main street communities.”