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Downtown businesses looking better thanks to grants
preservation month, Hargrove2.jpg
May is Preservation Month and Main Street McMinnville would like to shine a spotlight on numerous downtown projects that together make up a thriving historic district. Pictured is the old Hargrove building on Court Square before and after. It is currently used by Panther Creek Forestry. - photo by Lisa Hobbs
preservation month, Hargrove3.jpg
May is Preservation Month and Main Street McMinnville would like to shine a spotlight on numerous downtown projects that together make up a thriving historic district. Pictured is the old Hargrove building on Court Square before and after. It is currently used by Panther Creek Forestry. - photo by Lisa Hobbs

Main Street McMinnville wants to shine a spotlight on local efforts to preserve downtown’s historic appearance. 

“We want to invite everyone to notice and congratulate the building owners and businesses that have renovated their buildings and added to our historic district with grand buildings and businesses,” said Rachel Killebrew, chair of Main Street McMinnville’s Design Committee. “Restorations will continue through November so please watch as our downtown continues to be restored.”

Main Street McMinnville’s Design Grant program invests in downtown commercial properties to increase attention and traffic to help the businesses grow. Toward that endeavor, the organization applied for a Federal Façade Improvement Grant to fund public façade improvements, awning repair or replacement, rear entrance improvement and repair, and safety grants to downtown businesses. 

Several businesses applied and received Design Grants from Main Street McMinnville to make improvements to their properties. The application process helps ensure the projects meet standards of the Downtown Historic District.

Collins River BBQ owner Joe O’Neal applied and received two grants to replace the metal windows on the second floor of 117 E Main Street and 121 E. Main Street with more appropriate wooden windows. 

Larry and Tami Ross received two grants to install new standing seam awnings at 112 E. Main Street and 114 E. Main Street. If an owner chooses to have a metal awning, the Historic Zoning Commission insists on standing seam awnings for their elevated appearance which aligns with the character of the district and their durability.

Freddy Hoover, of Hoover and Son Insurance, received a grant to replace a worn awning located at 114 S. Court Square.

David Wideman replaced three awnings at 124 E. Main Street, the location of Edward Jones.

“Those awnings breathed new life into the midcentury building,” said Killebrew.

Other projects receiving Design Grants:

• Ken Roberts and Raven Young for a standing seam awning to Renewed Creations, located at 213 E. Main Street. 

• Alon Hutchins for repairs to the exterior of old Walker Motors building. That business is located at 302 W. Morford Street.

• Judge Bill Locke for replacement windows and brick repair around the storefront at 210 E. Main Street. 

• The Lively Building at 208 E. Main Street is owned by Karen Kerce. It will be undergoing several improvements and repairs.  

• David and Melanie Stinson have the original 1960s-era sign for the business at 117 West Main Street. It will be restored and returned to the storefront.

• Ken Roberts and Raven Young plan to renovate the front of the old Fraley’s building at 217 E. Main Street to accommodate six doors allowing them to renovate the interior of the building to be used for several commercial businesses on the ground floor.  

The above mentioned owners will be honored with certificates for their investment into the buildings by Main Street McMinnville. 

Several improvements were made to buildings without design grants: 1) 110 South Court Square, currently occupied by Panther Creek Forestry; 2) First United Methodist Church repaired its steeple after it was damaged by strong wind and constructed a columbarium on the west side of the church; 3) Central Church of Christ replaced it deteriorating wooden steeple with a new metal steeple; 4) The former home of Frank Farrah, located at 349 West Main, is being completely renovated inside and out by its current owner, Gwyn Bennett; 5) Raven Young and Ken Roberts renovated 107 East Morford Street for townhouse living.

May is dedicated to National Preservation Month, also known as Historic Preservation Month.