Population: over 11,000 souls. Known for its quality glass. Peak population was 16K in 1930, which means this might be one of those towns whose downtown is a bit bigger than the current population might need.

We’ll start with a noble structure: a great piece of early American Classical Revival, from 1881.

Wikipedia:

The courthouse is surrounded by various memorials to soldiers from the county in the American Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, and Operation Desert Storm. The most prominent is the Civil War Monument.

They look more like graves.

Uh - well, I don’t know what it looked like when it was built, but it didn’t look like this.

That’s the one style of facade-modernizing stone that didn’t age well.

 

Oh no

 

Oh no

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this type of awning. It’s a nightmare. Yes, you know this is a bar, and yay for still being in business, but that poor building. Three different colors of bricks.

Lights and all, unchanged for over half a century.

“One of these days, I’m going to join the Masons, and use my business contacts to make lots of money, and then I’m going to build a hall right next to old man Johnson’s house and there’ll be nothin’ he can do about it.”

 

Originally the State Theater. Old pictures of its glorious existence, including some small-town parade photos, here.

It’s a nice brick job. But it’s still a brick job. The building looks dead.

Where does the original end and the respectful, historic addition begin?

Chunky late 20th century modernism without the crisp details of the 60s, or excesses of the 70s and 80s. Not memorable, but not particularly damaging, and for a while it made people think “hey! They built something new downtown!”

 

OUMB: smoked glass, concrete pillars, blank brick walls . . .

 

. . . well, at least it made people think “hey! They built something new downtown!”

 

We’ll end with this oddly anthropomorphic building:

 

That snoopy verdigris moustache, the ill-advised brick that’s obviously new - did they pick out old bricks to put in the white ones, or do the entire facade?

IOOF!

Two guys flashing devil horns and a caduceus. I’ve no idea why they included that, but they weren’t alone. I don’t know if there was any significant overlap between the Odd Fellows, Doctors, and Rosicrucianism, if you accept that Mercury’s wand was a symbol of the AMORC. You may not.

“Hon, I don’t want to live downtown. I want a nice house on a street with trees and other houses.”

“Tell you what. I’ll go down to the Lowe’s and buy some stuff that’ll really make it look like a home.”

“Well . . . okay.”

 

I suspect there’s something else under there.

“I’m looking at your plans here, Harry, and I’m just thinking that some day they might want to put in a unit that’s slightly wider. They’re not always going to be the same size.”

 

“Eh, I’ll be dead by then.”

Now does it make sense?

 

Moooove your accounts to us!

 

Man, did they print a lot of money.

 

A rather extroverted and almost obstreperous facade:

 

Strange how it seems to abandon the Romanesque elements halfway up. I wonder if that arch ever sheltered a glass window.

The Hotel:

 

As it was then:

 

The marquee on the building on the left might make you think it was a Woolworths, but googling suggests it was the Newberry store. That means nothing to me, but I’m sure it meant something to them. Let me see if I can find an ad . . .

No.

 

The whole block was devoted to the Department Store idea, and it's depressing to see it's a Dollar Store now.

 

I always feel sorry for buildings like this.

 

The brick indicates big windows, filled in; the stupid faux “colonial” ground floor overhaul never aged well, and never had any historical connection to the thing on which it was snapped.

 

 

The Colley Block, I suspect, was built in two phases:

 

The brick indicates big windows, filled in; the stupid faux “colonial” ground floor overhaul never aged well, and never had any historical connection to the thing on which it was snapped.

 

 

 

A palimpsest with Bull Durham, suggesting nothing’s been built on that side of the building for a long time.

 

It stands alone on the edge of town.

Finally: the Civil War memorial in front of the courthouse, where we began.

 

A long time ago? Yesterday. Blink of an eye.