Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Strolling Goodwin

What a difference one city block can make. Alive with activity every day, Gurley Street is the heart of the city. Walk one block to Goodwin and you're in a quieter world. So it was as I strolled toward the Square. When the drug store is closed of a Sunday, the little shopping center tends to be dead. But not this particular week -- behold the tents and buzz that signify Event. Enough so that I'll do a separate post one of these days.

The big news on Goodwin is that the Fremont Plaza is getting a major make-over. I'll be curious to see what sort of butterfly emerges from the cocooning I saw Sunday.

This quasi-Mediterranean-style structure holds a particular fascination for me because I watched it under construction. Wasn't particularly prepossessing at that time; I called it the Imposing Cardboard Edifice. Reason? Underneath that stucco are walls of made of particle board, a building material I simply can't believe in. Maybe I'm just old fashioned in my preference for brick, stone or plain ordinary concrete block.

In short, I have more faith in the construction of this little building that now houses El Gato Azul. For years, this small concrete block structure sat next the creek -- an obvious prime location just waiting for a restaurant with outdoor patio -- and remained a square white blockhouse with few interesting features until the Blue Cat arrived. Now I can enjoy the rooftop garden in summer.

As I was about to cross the creek, this old-timer passed me and I snapped a picture of his highly decorated walking cane. He's one of the town's fixtures.

Next -- a store at the Old Fire House Plaza dedicated to pampered pets. Even a new local dog magazine! I wonder how these enterprises will fare in the current economy.

Right next door are the new premises for Ian Russell's gallery -- and the digital photography services that Rich will soon offer; I presume that the windows below will give visitors to the Old Firehouse Plaza a good idea of what's going on once work is finished and the curtains are down.

Look what I saw when I turned around to face the street! Remember the rickshaw? It was my luck Sunday to see it in action, operated by neither a studly young hunk as in Scottsdale nor a bent immigrant as I predicted. He seems to be enjoying his scene thus far.

Nearing the Square, I was reminded that blackout curtains in the south windows of the Galloping Goose result in the best reflections I have found in any shops downtown. I couldn't resist taking one more picture; when I turned back toward the street, there below was the corner that's obviously a branch of the local Republican party, to judge from the signs. Note that a realtor's stake is up; so much for that touted multi-function condo building announced with great fanfare a year or so ago.

A final Goodwin Street sight. As a one-time smoker, my sympathies are with the outcast.


Antipodean Curmudgeon said...

Tapas bueno at the Blue Cat. I trust that the quality remains the same at the new digs.

As,also, a reformed smoker the last shot is much appreciated.


meggie said...

You & your brother are very charitbale to ex smokers. I am one too, but I am not so charity minded! LOL. I get annoyed smelling smoke when I am outside.

TomboCheck said...

It may not have been as pretty, but the sub shop that was in that little concrete building was one of the best places in town for a long time before going under.

Anonymous said...

Good Morning Granny J. I have a little contribution about the Fremont Building. Back when you were watching the new construction, you were witnessing the start of a Pink Elephant. What you are seeing now is a mold remediation and not a fa├žade remodel. The original contractors did not install waterproof flashing properly on the top of all the walls. What happened over the next decade was mold and dry rot spread throughout the whole building. I was the contractor who did the first mold remediation back in 2002. Upon inspection of the structural wood beams on the bottom floor we discovered dryrot has crippled their integrity and needed replacement. The owner’s rep. was skeptical (and cheap!) so I brought in the Prescott City Building Dept. and local engineer Rick Frost to dictate the fix on this old mold box. It was determined that the whole east side of the structure needed to be replaced. This was something the owner’s rep. did not want to undertake because of the costs and the need for the tenants to vacate during the remediation.

What happened next showed me how the good old boys of Prescott got things done! Even though Frost Engineering had put his stamp on the prescribed fix that warranted that replacement of all structural wood beams (1st & 2nd floors) on the creekside of the building, the owners rep. who was in bed with the Prescott Building Depts. Director nixed it all! He chose to Fire my company and stick us with a $4K loss. Those morons only painted over the mold and covered up a majority of the dryrot with drywall. If I were a tenant I would inquire further about this folly.

We informed the owner about the mold and dryrot potential on the southside of the building way back then, they are just now getting around to it. Hopefully they tore out all the mold this time.

This kind of building practice was pervasive in Prescott back then, hopefully things have changed. Oh excuse me, I forgot the Lowes Wall debacle!

This kind of building practices helped me coin the term “Prescottstyle.”

TomboCheck said...

Great info PrescottStyle!

kimmus122 said...

Eeekkk....I think that Greek looking building is somewhat hideous. Why can't they put something in that looks more like it belongs in Prescott? Maybe that's just the architect in me talking?

kimmus122 said...

Oh, but the roof garden is really cool!

Anonymous said...

I'm really impressed with the construction site photos. You got some very good compositions there, out of obvious mess.
Good eye.

Granny J said...

bro -- that was a pleasant evening. I'm sorry to admit that I haven't been back, esp. in the summer with the outdoor cafe.

meggie -- when I stopped smoking, it was as though a large piece of my persona had been amputated. I still miss it.

tombo -- I don't recall the sub shop in that location; my memory is of such mundane businesses as construction companies and tax advisors, hardly the folk to install outdoor creekside seating.

style -- WOW! I did not realize what a can of worms was buried on the corner of McCormick & Goodwin. Streets. Thank you for the info!

tombo -- ditto

kim -- it's known as the Edifice Complex, the urge to build a pretentiously unsuitable structure.

mr. enigma -- thank you! It was a site that just begged for a picture.

Paul said...

'Edifice Complex'.. Granny, you are too much!

Granny J said...

paul -- wish I could claim it! I first heard the expression in reference to a politico who spent especially big bucks on magnificent, unneeded public buildings.

Avus said...

Loved the walking cane and the "rickshaw"!
The "smoker" shot was a real "snap-shot" in the style of Cartier-Bresson"

Granny J said...

avus -- you know how to make a girl's head Really Big, Big Time! Wow! a comparison to Cartier-Bresson!

Rich said...

As a reformed economist (12 step program you know) I realize we're not in the best economic environment. It will be interesting to see how things play out!

Fortunately Prescott is a little different. Hopefully the downtown will remain a center of activity, even with a downturn. ;)

Granny J said...

rich -- I'd be curious to see some of the indicators for Prescott; I have noticed that the restaurant where I have a standing Wednesday PM date isn't quite as busy as in the past. In any event, best wishes for every success in your new venture!

omegadad said...

Ian Russell now has his own gallery... kewl. When the wife comes down in December, make sure she sneaks over there with me in mind.

Granny J said...

od -- will do; BTW, Russell has had a smaller gallery for several years in the same little mall-let.

omegadad said...

I've been to the little one... and purchased a thing or two...

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