Historic Paris Fair building awaits face lift


News intern

An aging downtown building may soon have a face lift that will restore its past beauty.

North Cheatham, owner of the Paris Fair building in downtown Hood River, is planning to make cosmetic alterations and add a seating area to the structure, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.

Hood River’s Landmarks Review Board will decide on that request Jan. 30 at a quasi-judicial meeting scheduled at 4 p.m. in the City Administration Building.

“We’re trying to bring the building to a more historically appropriate appearance,” said Cheatham.

He said the building, located at Fourth and Oak streets, was originally built in 1906 but severely altered in 1963 when it became a department store. At that time, the transom windows were taken out and structural steel was added, making it impossible to use authentic replacements.

However, Cheatham plans to remove all of the spray-on gravel located on the floor, stairway, and outside area of the building and replace it with decorative and a brick tile that is similar to the tile that was uncovered when a section of the textured floor was lifted.

“We’re trying to connect back to an earlier era” said Cheatham.

He also plans to add a contoured brick surface to go along with the second floor windows, 1920s appropriate hanging light fixtures, a decorative rail, and to level the alcove area.

If his proposal is accepted, Cheatham plans to begin alterations in early February and hopes to be finished within one month. Recently, the entire second floor of the building was rented by Wipika, a windsurfing business. The third floor houses a Bikram Yoga Studio.

The seven-member landmark board was formed in 1994 and is operated through the city’s planning department, taking the place of the municipal planning commission for major alterations of key downtown structures. The eventual goal of the Landmark Board is to have Hood River’s downtown listed on the national historical registry.

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