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MailTribune.com
  • Shell of 1950 hardware store likely to persist

  • What is the story behind the cinder block shell-of-a-building that persists at the Table Rock Road / North Pacific Highway intersection? What did it used to be, and why hasn't it been torn down yet? Are there any plans in the works? This eyesore seems like a place for troublemakers.
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  • What is the story behind the cinder block shell-of-a-building that persists at the Table Rock Road / North Pacific Highway intersection? What did it used to be, and why hasn't it been torn down yet? Are there any plans in the works? This eyesore seems like a place for troublemakers.
    — Megan, Central Point
    We'll start with the story behind the abandoned building before moving on to its minimal future plans.
    According to Southern Oregon History, Revised, a website operated by local historian Ben Truwe, the building in question was once a hardware story called "Dunham's Surplus Hardware."
    It was built in 1950, and advertised selling everything from lawn mowers to guns to waffle irons. Really, it's a shame that local people now often have to go to two different stores when they need both a lawn mower and a waffle iron.
    While it is unclear when the block store was abandoned, the property it's on has been owned by Northgate LLC for more than a decade. Since it's not registered as a historical building, there are no restrictions against it being torn down. Desmond McGeough, a city planner, said Northgate proposed conceptual plans in 2006 that involved the removal of the building.
    "When they came in, we asked if (demolishing the building) is something they would consider, as the building is not historic," McGeough said. "It was just a conversation, not a condition or requirement."
    The building has obviously not been demolished, and McGeough said there are no immediate plans in the works for the building or property.
    The property is zoned for professional/service commercial, so down the line a new business may take its place.
    For the time being though, Megan, the abandoned building will continue to persist, eyesore or not.
    Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.
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