Historic Restoration Project in Downtown Jonesboro

August 2, 2004 -- Posted 6:00 p.m. CDT

Jonesboro, AR - A historic Region 8 building is set to stand stronger 114 years after it first opened its doors.

If you're a long-time Jonesboro resident or maybe just a history buff, you may be familiar with the many faces of this old building on Main Street in Downtown Jonesboro.

First built in 1890, it served as the Jonesboro Trust Company. It was later renovated in the 1920's and served as the home of Jonesboro Mercantile Bank.

Now it's in the hands of Stricker Law Firm, a new owner who admits restoring this piece of history is costing more than the building itself.

"I just admired the building and just kept thinking boy that's a beautiful building and kept thinking I wish it were brought back to its original beauty," said owner Ted Stricker.

"We're chemically stripping the exterior, and replicating the stucco effect," said Project Manager Wayne Stoner. "These windows that are missing we're having some replicated so we can put them back in and match the 1933 detail."

When you walk inside the project is just as impressive.

"It will be a 2 story really grand entrance, we will open this grand molding again which is actually plaster and in the front we will have some marble," said Stoner.

That's just some of the detail being worked on this classical style building, whose architecture was inspired by the World's Fair in St. Louis at the turn of the century.

"Just the satisfaction of seeing it come back to what it once was is worthwhile," said Stricker.

Maybe worthwhile for another reason: efforts are underway to place this soon -to- be law firm on a national historic register.

"I think it will be the Renaissance to Downtown Jonesboro when we're through," said Stoner.

Yet another challenge that could stand the test of time.