Preserving history

Preserving history Main Photo

21 Jul 2019


Chad Thompson

The revitalization of historic downtown buildings in Fort Dodge has continued along Central Avenue, near City Square Park.

Lifestyles Furnishings, owned by Dave Madsen and managed by Aaron Tighe, has undergone extensive renovations to its arched facade on the north side of the structure, and now has a redesigned storefront on the west side.

The renovations of the spacious furniture store is an example of efforts by business owners, city officials, and Main Street Fort Dodge to maintain historic integrity, while creating a modern look for some of Fort Dodge’s aging structures.

The store, located at 611 Central Ave., has been owned by Madsen since 2000.

While upgrading the building in 2018, Madsen and Tighe made a surprising discovery.

Underneath the facade on the north side and covered in old paint, was brick, original to the building, according to Madsen.

“We were going to redo the front of this in more of a contemporary style and once we exposed the arches and the city saw it, they wouldn’t let us to much more than take it back to its historical look,” Madsen said. “It turned out beautiful and we are really glad we did.”

Maggie Murray, the senior Fort Dodge city planner, believes the brick dates to the late 1800s.

She said the city has some photos from the early 1900s that show the brick arches.

“This was fun to see from a historic preservation standpoint,” Murray said. “It looks very close to what it did then.”

The brick was exposed in September of 2018.

Madsen said had previously noticed some of the brick when work was done to the ceiling.

Full article.

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