Historical building is restored

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-Marked Tree got back a piece of it's history on Tuesday thanks to Ritter Communications.

Ritter employees and Marked Tree residents gathered together to celebrate the restoration of the building located at 30 Elm Street.

The renovation of this building has taken Ritter some time to complete.

Vice President of Operations in Northeast Arkansas for Ritter Communications, David Adams, says this has been a long, but rewarding process.

"We began the design phase of this project about two years ago. The we began the construction process last winter and then completed about a month or so ago. We've been putting the finishing touches on the building over the last few weeks."

Adams says employees are excited about the new facility.

"This has been kind of a labor of love. To see this project finally come to reality, to have seen the architects vision, it really has been just a special day. There's a lot of unique design with this building as far as integrating the old with the new. So, you'll see a lot of exposed brick and exposed rafters and things like that. As well as some new modern architecture so we're really excited about it and think it's going to be a lot of fun."

Chairman and CEO of Ritter, Dan Hatzenbuehler, says they felt like archeologists when they began uncovering some historical gems during the renovation process.

"We found the name of the company, E Ritter, in tile that was the original entrance into one of the offices and so, we preserved that so it can be seen out in the hallway. And another thing we found that was really neat was at one point in time all of these buildings weren't connected. Someone had painted a sign for a business in Marked Tree that was a dry cleaners, they sold newspapers and magazines and so we kept as much of that sign age as we could."

Adams says this building has received Historic Preservation Certification.

"We partnered with the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, which works to revitalize downtown business districts. And so, we started this project kind of in concert with them. And we're able to facilitate a lot of the design in accordance with their program. And so, we wanted to work to preserve some of the historic nature of the building, but at the same time incorporate a lot of the new and modern technology that we deploy."

Adams says he and fellow co workers are thrilled with the finished result.

"I think the most special thing about this building is that it's been a part of the Ritter family since 1926. And some of our original offices were here, some of our original telephone switching equipment was here. And so, we have a lot invested in terms of our history with this location."

An open house was held from eleven to one so that residents could tour the building and see the treasures they had uncovered.

There are around forty Ritter employees currently working in the new facility.

For more information about Ritter Communications, log onto their website.

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