Restore the South Salina Street RiteAid Facade?
by Samuel D. Gruber
Syracuse Post-Standard columnist Sean Kirst reported today on the possibility of upcoming restoration work on the Art Deco facade of the downtown Rite Aid (formerly Woolworth's) at South Salina and Jefferson Street. The building is on one of the most important corners of the city - and it has one of the most representative commercial Art Deco facades in the region.
I wrote about this tile facade last year and urged the stripping off of the ugly metal additions. While I don't really think anyone is listening to me - I'm glad others are having the same thoughts and seeing opportunities where storm damage present them.
Apparently the city and rite aid are having constructive - or should I say "restorative" discussions.
Here are some excepts from Sean's piece:
The clock and much of the facade were covered up by a bland metal sign after Rite Aid bought the building in 1979. When the wind blew off that covering in 1997, revealing a clock frozen at 1:06 p.m., pedestrians were delighted but Rite Aid quickly put the sign back up.Click here for the entire article - and pictures.
The wind returned a few weeks ago, dragging down another chunk of that sign. City officials, seeing an opportunity, contacted Rite Aid about the chance for a permanent exterior restoration.
“They’ve responded very favorably,” said Ben Walsh, the city’s deputy commissioner for business development. A connection between the city and the company had already been established, Walsh said, thanks to the “Bank Alley” project and other nearby improvements.
Walsh recalled how the first reaction at City Hall to news of the sign coming down was a concern that someone could have been hurt. Once downtown advocates knew there'd been no injuries, they chuckled quietly at the idea that even God wanted to see the original facade restored.