Monday, July 21, 2008

Buckeye's Ware Building owners proud of restoration

[Source: Cynthia Benin, Arizona Republic] -- Construction on the historic Ware Building in downtown Buckeye is nearing conclusion, and the new exterior looks - well, old. Building owner Jean Faraj and his partner on the project, Buckeye Realtor Karla Walters, have been working since May to restore the structure to its former appearance. The $100,000-plus project is expected to be completed by the end of this week. The oldest portion of the building dates o the early 1910s, when it originated as Buckeye Valley Bank at Monroe and Fourth streets.

Several years later, a man named George Ware added the western section of the building along Monroe, and eventually the spaces were combined to become collectively known as the Ware Building. In its tenure, the space has served as a boot and saddle repair shop, bakery, grocery store, an office for the Buckeye Valley News and, most recently, Fernando's Barbershop. With every business change came more modifications to the original red-brick walls and full windows that had given the space its trademark open, welcoming feel. By the time Faraj took control of the building about six years ago, the brick had been completely covered by drywall and stucco and coated in paint that had long since begun to peel. No business has occupied the space since the barbershop closed four years ago after nearly 60 years.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Karla Walters.]