Sunday, February 16, 2014

Mixing old and new

Grants, NM is an old town partly made up of old buildings, old traditions and yes a lot of old people with old ideas that are not easily changed. Every now and then someone comes along with vision and "surprise", the result is a new way of looking at things.

During this last week an old bar/lounge sitting on a corner of the main street of town was completely demolished in about two days by a private demolition company. The only evidence of what was is the tall old fashioned sign- Roarin' 20's.

This building has been an eyesore for years and blocked the entrance to the current mortuary, which also has an interesting history. It used to be the post office. Imagine that!

A few years ago this building was sold to a private funeral director who wanted to offer people a more personal experience than a corporation could provide. After renovating the building he and his family opened Compassion Mortuary. Shortly after that the corporation owning the only other mortuary left town.

On the East end of Grants there once stood the 4 B's restaurant, which was part of a chain. The day came when that too was sold and literally taken down piece by piece. It was interesting to watch the daily progress. In its place today stands the newest of the motels on that end of town, the Holiday Inn Express.

There are two examples in Grants of the fact that it isn't always necessary to destroy something old in order to create something new. The first is an old church left vacant for several years. It was purchased by a couple of very hard working individuals who worked their tails off to restore the building. They turned it into a gallery with a little cafe. The cafe no longer exists, but the gallery is still giving the owner a place to exhibit his work.
Another restored building was the original Grants jail. The building has had other lives in its history. It was a bakery and for several years El Jardin, a Mexican restraunt. It sat vacant for some time until a person with new vision renovated it and it became Bella Vita, the only Itallian restraunt in the area.
The last building on my list of mixing old and new is one sitting on a hill above town, visable to all who happen to look up. It housed the police department for some time, but is on a city list to be demolished because it is crumbling. There is no hope for this building and I for one will be celebrating when it is replaced by something new.

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