MASON CITY — Improvements on facades of 10 downtown businesses began this week.
Work on The SuzieQ restaurant facade started off site as windows are being made to specifications and parts are being constructed at a metal fabricator.
Contractors for all the restoration are Renaissance Restoration Inc. of Galena, Ill., for the SuzieQ project and Dean Snyder Construction of Clear Lake for the other nine properties, which are:
• Brick Furniture.
• Encoré Boutique.
• Ralph’s Garden Café building (unoccupied).
• Rieman Music.
• The Quarry.
• Lillian’s building (unoccupied).
• Schulting Real Estate.
• The Candy Bar tavern.
• Ransom’s Cigar Store.
The facade project evolved from a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant awarded to and administered by the city of Mason City, according to Jodee O’Brien, executive director of Main Street Mason City.
Interested businesses were required to put up a 10 percent match.
“The state historic preservation office wants the facades to have a historic look — without distorting history,” O’Brien said earlier this year.
The intent is for the facades to look real rather than contrived, she said, and to have a flow to them.
Architects and staff studied old photos of each of the buildings to note characteristics such as style and shape of windows and whether they had awnings.
Main Street Mason City is the project manager.