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Cornerstone Project vision coming into clear picture

Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 9:42 am

Vandalia Area Historical Society President Paul Ray discusses the floor plan inside the old Hudson’s Variety Store building on Main St. in Vandalia.

In just one month, a lot of significant progress has been made through the help of multiple volunteers working on the Vandalia Area Historical Society’s Cornerstone Project.
Vandalia Area Historical Society President Paul Ray gave patrons a tour of the progress on Sunday afternoon as part of their  corned beef dinner event.
A plan design was on display inside the Carter Building at 108 S. Main St., where the tour began.
Ray said half of the building, which once hosted Dr. Rex Carter’s practice and the Tick Tock Cafe, among others, will eventually be  rented out. The back side will include a hallway, museum office, and museum storage. He noted the floors where bar stools once stood in the cafe and discussed the renovation efforts and its progress.
At 110 S. Main, Ray noted the old Hudson’s Variety Store and Shelter Insurance office will eventually become a carpeted Genealogy Research Library. The building will also have a bathroom and the back half of the building will be an extension to the museum.
It will also feature at least one automobile, so volunteers are going to expand the doorway in the back of the building. The stage curtain created by the late Ben Salmon will act as the building’s back drop.
Currently, the floor joices are dropped down so volunteers are having to go into the ground and dig trenches to level out the flooring. Walls will eventually be popped out as well to link the three buildings. As the warm season approaches, Ray said the focus of the project will shift to needed outside renovations with the awning area.
Inside renovations would pick back up closer to fall.
Ray said many volunteers ready to work are still needed for this large project.

Martha Pease in her dress worn during the corned beef dinner.

The deadline for the project in conjunction with grants approved by the Missouri Department of Economic Development’s Neighborhood Assistance Program is March 2013. Ray said he expects renovations to be completed way before the deadline.
Those willing to offer their services as a volunteer are encouraged to call the VAHS at 314-724-2010 or email VandaliaCornerstone@gmail.com.