Building co-owner vows to rebuild corner |

Building co-owner vows to rebuild corner

Courtesy: The Bob Wyckoff collectionThe now-burned-out corner of North Pine and Commercial streets is shown in December 1989.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Burned building co-owner Ken Baker said Wednesday he will rebuild at the corner of North Pine and Commercial streets as soon as possible, even though the effort might take the entire $1.7 million the building’s insured for.

Baker said he hopes the city will recognize what an important part of the community the newly dislocated businesses – the Herb Shop, Friar Tuck’s Restaurant & Bar, and Off Broadstreet theater – are and “would be 100 percent cooperative.”

The county Probation Department also had offices in the building.

Baker has co-owned the building for approximately four years. He plans to try to meet with City Council and Planning Commission members as soon as possible to see how quickly builders can go through the demolition process and start reconstruction.

The ground floor of the building, composed of three one-story brick buildings and a storage shed, dated from the early 1860s.

In 1912, architect J. H. Rogers designed the upper floor to house the Elks lodge.

Baker, of Nevada City Engineering, co-owns the building with Kay Baker and Gary and Patricia Tintle.

The assessed value on the Nevada County 2001-02 tax rolls is $1,024,896 for the 18,398-square-foot, two-unit, two-story structure on .21 acres.

The second story was constructed of reinforced concrete with a flat roof, and the entire Pine Street facade was faced with buff brick, historic descriptions of the building say.

Stedger Automotive was the first business in the building, said local historian Bob Wyckoff. The building also housed the Berliner and McGinnis graphic arts printing company.

The late Charlie Allert, who founded the Nevada City Father’s Day bicycle race in Nevada City in 1961, worked there as a typographer.

Baker said he is thankful there was no loss of life and believes the joint effort of the fire departments kept the fire from spreading to other structures in the Gold Rush-era downtown.

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