After receiving the official "release of funds" from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (IOCRA), the Greencastle Redevelopment Commission has given Advanced Restoration the green light to begin fašade work in the downtown.
Over the next several months 14 independent, historic structures will be receiving their individualized "makeover."
Through the creative work of Brent Mather of Brenner Design and the participation of each building owner, a variety of treatments will be applied.
The first building tackled was 25 W. Franklin St. (corner of Franklin and Jackson/U.S. 231). Its entire west side has been stripped of green aluminum.
Citizens have been able to watch such aluminum and wood camouflage disappear from building surfaces. In weeks to come there is an extensive amount of tuck-pointing to be done, windows and doors to be replaced, and hardware, lighting and signage to be hung.
There was a brief setback on Thursday afternoon, Mather noted, as Advanced Restoration removed half of the 1950-60 metal facade from Almost Home.
"Based on previous study of the building through test holes, we had anticipated finding the original 1850s brick front under the metal," he said.
"The building had gone through more changes than we thought. Our previous test viewing holes only found the brick on the sides, and did not find that the center brick of the building had been entirely removed."
In an official statement to the city and City Council on the matter, Mather noted: "It is always an exciting moment when you open a building after 50 years and find things you didn't expect.
"We built time and capacity into the project from the very beginning for these unforeseen conditions. We are working together -- contractor, city, architect and state SHPO historic preservationists. Finding different conditions here will certainly mean more time until Almost Home is fully complete, but at this time isn't affecting to overall project schedule."
Decisions about the extent of the renovations, features and paint color choices are being made by the owners with the goal of restoring their building: Bringing it close to its original character and charm.
The downtown revitalization program is part of the Stellar Community pilot grant project the city was awarded in March 2011.
The city received $1 million from IOCRA in this first round of funding.
Building owners are financing 10 percent of the facade construction costs with the city's Redevelopment Commission covering architectural, engineering and grant administration (which is an IOCRA requirement) costs as well as some additional facade work.
A second round of facade work is scheduled for 2013.
For information on this, as well as other Stellar Community projects, persons can visit the city's website at cityofgreencastle.com to follow the progress.