Nevada City’s Alpha building receives long-planned makeover |

Nevada City’s Alpha building receives long-planned makeover

The Alpha Building in Nevada City is being remodeled.
Laura Mahaffy/ | The Union

The historical Alpha building in downtown Nevada City is getting a long-awaited renovation. The project is part of a plan to bring the 98-year-old structure back to its golden days, said owner Gary Tintle.

Tintle, who is also the contractor, said he expects the work to be completed in four to six weeks.

“This work and the new colors were approved by the Nevada City Planning Commission several years ago,” he said. “We want to improve the appearance of the building — this is important as you enter Nevada City.”

Tintle said he envisioned the refurbished complex to be completed with retail and office spaces, but it’s too early to consider any concrete plan at this point.

“We have much interest in the building, but do not contemplate further renovation work or possible new tenants until next year,” he said.

The current remodel only focuses on the exterior facade on Broad Street. The touch-ups include window replacement, stucco repair, trim replacement and painting. The building will be painted light green, with an off-white trim and dark brown and beige accents. Tintle estimated that the renovation would cost around $75,000.

The renovation was part of a proposal approved by the City Council and the Planning Commission of Nevada City in 2012, he said.

The plan included the addition of three windows, a change of building color, and a new doorway entrance on the eastern elevation and onto Calanan Park. The proposal also included an initiative called the Alpha Building Marketplace and Community Collaborative, which was an effort to turn the Alpha building into a market and community center housing 30 tenants.

“It was an idea we all like, but not something we are thinking of right now,” said Tintle.

This is not the only makeover that the Alpha building complex has received in recent years.

In August 2013, the Alpha annex and the Alpha connector buildings, which are located in the back of the main building, underwent a renovation. The refurbishments included touch-ups of the exterior, addition of windows and awnings, and a color change.

The Alpha annex and connector buildings now house the Three Forks Bakery and Brewing Company and two other stores.

“We will keep moving things in baby steps, doing things one at a time,” Tintle said.

The Alpha building, located at 210 Broad St., at the intersection with Union Alley, is an important part of the history and culture of Nevada City.

The 8,160 square-feet building was first constructed in 1917. Its first occupant was the Alpha Hardware Store, a community shop that sold hardware and housewares to local residents.

Then from 1977 to 2008, the site was home to Broad Street Furnishings, the largest home furnishings retailer in the area, until the business closed down.

By the time Tintle took over the property in 2009, the building had been vacant for some time.

According to the Nevada City codes, any changes to an existing structure in the Nevada City Historical District have to be in strict compliance with the Mother Lode era. Preservation of historical materials is also encouraged.

To contact Staff Writer Teresa Yinmeng Liu, please call 530-477-4236 or email

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