“So, where you from?”

“Frazer Buttermilk Altus Leger.”

“Nice town, I hear.”

Wikipedia:

The town that would later be named Altus was founded in 1886. The community was originally called "Frazer", a settlement of about 50 people on Bitter Creek that served as a trading post on the Great Western Cattle Trail. Cowboys driving herds northward often stopped to buy buttermilk from John McClearan. Thus, the town was known locally as "Buttermilk Station".

A flash flood nearly destroyed Frazer on June 4, 1891. The residents moved to higher ground 2.5 miles east of the original site. W. R. Baucum suggested renaming the town "Altus", a Latin word meaning "high". This name stuck, although the town was also known as "Leger" from July 10, 1901, to May 14, 1904.

It’s always a sad sign for a downtown when the store closes and the sign remains . . . for a long, long time.

Strange design, when you look at it for a while. The third story doesn't relate.

Classic display case entrance.

We learn that Howard’s was Your Family Store. The corner building had a Moderne aspect that always lends 30s glamour.

I think this is why I clipped this place: the quantity of well-preserved pre-war structures.

The color, the metal panels - suggests the 40s.

 

Man, when your Thrift Store goes out of business . . .

 

I think by the time you got to the door to the store on the right, you were in the back alley.

 

 

It’s not all 30s. Nice little decorative brick at the top, the little Italianate touches.

The bottom floor renovation seems pointless, but then you realize that just adding brickwork like this was, at the time, MODERNIZING!

 

A handsome array - built at the same time, or added year by year?

(All at the same time, by the Lilley company, in 1896.)

 

What was going on in Torrington that provided the money for so much construction in the 30s?

 

And this:

That was, of course, a bank.

As we often say: whoa.

Wikipedia:

The Warner Theatre was built as a first-run movie palace by Warner Bros. Studios. This elaborate art-deco building was designed by nationally renowned architect Thomas W. Lamb. The opening was a statewide event attended by then-Governor Wilbur Cross and many other dignitaries. Seating 1,772 patrons, the Warner was a stunning example of state-of-the-art technology and lush, elegant surroundings.

That’s a lot of theater for a town that size. Cinematreasures, of course, has the photos.

 

Mertz: the department store, finished in 1930. That might be why it seems the Depression was kind to the town: the projects were in the pipeline before the crash, or most people, thought the downturn was temporary.

 

J. M. Julian. He was a grocer, so I assume that’s what this building was.

Fresh and clean and modern when built, and soon made Old by the Moderne and Streamlined styles.

 

There’s pre-war Modern, and post-war Modern. Two completely different modes of thought. This is the preferable version of this little jewel box:

I think this is the recent version. Not better, but perhaps better for its purpose - to make kids feel welcome.

 

Finally, the Library. 1901.

Of all the buildings, it’s the one we can say is timeless.