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Extreme makeover on Main Street

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By Vicky Gits

A new owner has purchased two historic vacant buildings last used as an auto-body shop at the west end of Main Street in Littleton, and a local builder is gutting and rehabilitating them to possibly give them new life as trendy restaurants or shops.

The renovator has removed three layers of paint on one building and chipped away stucco on the other in the effort to restore the façade to its original glory. Workers also peeled away all of the interior drywall to expose the original brick.

Known as Main Street Station, the project consists of adjoining and connected structures at 2670 and 2680 Main St.

The building at 2680 W. Main was built in 1929 and was a dealership for the Bussard Motor Co. for many years. It has housed three automotive dealerships, the last of which was Roth Burke Motors, which was there until 1965.

The other building was the Blue Ribbon Stables and was built between 1905 and 1908. It was being used as a garage by 1921 and has been used for other automotive uses over the years. The stable building is not considered to be a landmark structure.

Workers carefully popped out a section of brick about 12 feet by 3 feet on the old dealership to uncover a recessed space that formerly contained signage.

The building owner, Todd Little of Scottsdale, Ariz., applied for recognition and was accepted into the Littleton Historic District. 

Commercial Building Services Inc. of Littleton, which is known for its vast portfolio of work with auto dealerships all over the metro area, is doing the renovation.

Project manager Blake Trnka said the job is turning out a lot better than he thought it would for a 90-year-old building. He has installed new windows and a movable glass garage door. 

Underneath the plaster on the front of the 2670 building, Trnka found a layer of rectangular, yellowish terracotta tiles. The tiles are to be covered with a layer of dark red brick veneer to complement the 2680 building.

The dealership space has a beautiful barrel-shaped ceiling over a vast open space punctured with skylights. Together, the buildings have about 9,000 square feet of space.

Like many old buildings, this one has its mysteries.  In the middle of the floor is a pile of ancient wooden beams that were buried under the plaster walls in a door shape. Trnka said he had no idea why they were in there because they didn’t appear to have any structural purpose.

Between the buildings is a narrow brick hallway that reveals the traces of former windows that gave the resident horses access to their handlers.

Contact Vicky Gits at vicky@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 22.