Despite delays, restoration of downtown building fronts forges ahead in Fort Dodge

Despite delays, restoration of downtown building fronts forges ahead in Fort Dodge Main Photo

16 Nov 2020

Bill Shea

In a section of downtown Fort Dodge, workers have been scrambling over scaffolding for most of the summer and fall, working to restore the facades of several buildings.

While the grandeur of some of those old buildings is beginning to emerge again, the grant-funded project will not be done until sometime next spring. The COVID-19 pandemic is the reason for the delay, according to Kris Patrick, the executive director of Main Street Fort Dodge.

She said the pandemic has delayed the delivery of lumber, windows, doors and even bricks by four to five weeks.

“There’s nothing the general contractor can do about it,” she said.

The general contractor is Cornerstone Commercial Contractors Inc., of Corning. The City Council hired that company in June to do the facade work on multiple downtown buildings at a cost of $867,500.

The city received a $500,000 grant from the Iowa Economic Development Authority to pay much of that cost. The city government is contributing 25 percent of the needed money through tax increment financing, while the owners of the buildings are providing another 25 percent.

Here is a summary of the work on some of the buildings included in the project.

Harty’s Caddy Shack Cafe

The building at Central Avenue and 11th Street that houses the restaurant was the first one crews started working on in July.

It actually has two addresses. The restaurant has an address of 1101 Central Ave., while the rest of the building, which includes eight apartments and the former Captain Hook’s Lounge, has an address of 7 S. 11th St. It was built in 1916, and lettering above the main entrance on the 11th Street side identifies it as the Cadwell Building.

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