Chris Bass, owner of the Sheet Metal Shop, has just finished remodeling a downtown building and is gearing up to start another.
"I like to take an old building that's been covered up, " Bass says, "and then bring it back to the way it used to look."
Bass opened his shop ten years ago in downtown Paragould and began remodeling his own shop front. The former director of Main Street Paragould, Bryan Borne, encouraged Bass to take a look at local buildings. Bass claims he then "bought into it."
If businesses are interested in remodeling, Bass helps them to acquire a grant, usually the facade-removal grant. He then gets to work. Studying not only the history of the building, but also the architecture, he strives to bring the original character back to the building.
Bass says he hopes to do one building each year. His vision, along with others, is to see all the buildings re-done but still keeping with the feeling of downtown. He says the charm of a downtown is what keeps people coming.
Others have stepped up to re-create Main Street. Bass praises Dina Mason and Judith Taylor for their tireless work as well. Overall, it is a community effort, according to Bass.
The next project on his list is the former Regions Bank building on Pruett Street.