'Ugly Duckling' gets approval for facelift

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— A downtown building constructed during a time of struggle in America, which was described as an "ugly duckling" at a meeting Thursday, is one step closer to getting a facelift.

Going against the wishes of the Historic Preservation Advisory Commission and planning staff, the city Planning Commission decided Thursday night to approve an application for a remodel to the depression-era Mountain States Building on 7th Street and Lincoln Avenue.

The commission recommended a less drastic change to the building's windows, keeping the simple architecture of the building intact, though the applicant, Dr. Richard Boyes, wanted to add larger windows to accommodate the proposed retail nature of the space. Boyes himself used to practice dentistry in the building. The building is currently being used by Paul Andrews, who operates a dentistry practice in the space. Andrews is planning to move out of the building in the next few months.

The small windows, argued the applicant, would be bad for business in a retail space.

The Planning Commission passed the project by a vote of 7 to 2.

"I would liken this building to the ugly duckling," said local resident George Noyer of the squat brick building across Seventh Street from Go-fer Foods. "Fortunately, with a few small improvements we might be able to make this building into a duck."

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