An architectural anchor of the Old Munichburg neighborhood is on its way to restoration.
The Historic City of Jefferson bestowed its July Golden Hammer Award on Jeff Adams, owner of Scuba Adventure, 901 Jefferson St.
For the first 50 years, the building served as a neighborhood grocery store. Then it passed through the hands of several businesses and the exterior began to show its age.
Adams bought the building in 1993 and completed exterior renovations this spring.
Next, he intends for refurbish the interior, including the upper floor apartments.
"What a difference that renovation has made for that corner," said selection committee spokesman Deedie Bedosky. "Not only does it improve and preserve the building, but the improved appearance uplifts the entire neighborhood."
Because it sits on a prominent corner, almost daily someone stops into the shop to comment on the renovations, Adams said.
"The project continues a neighborhood movement of reclaiming older buildings, joining the boyhood home of F. Joe Delong, founder of Delong's, Inc., located opposite the Scuba Adventure on Atchison Street, and the Burch House, also on Atchison Street, which have both undergone recent facelifts," Bedosky noted.
The Ahrens & Graessle Grocery opened in 1908, with Emil and Annie Graessle living around the corner on East Atchison Street.
It became the Bassman Grocery in 1923, owned by Oliver and Arthur Bassman.
Then, Harry and Cecelia Ferguson hold the name of the grocery in 1924 and they lived at the same address until 1953.
By 1961, the building sat vacant until the Orkin Exterminating Company moved in in 1967. Other occupants before Scuba Adventure included Jefferson City Orthotic Center, The World Trade, Devoe Distribution, Painter's Emporium, and Best TV Sales and Rentals.
In the fall of 2012, Adams began renovations which included replacing windows and doors, new roof, replacing the Driveit exterior and a new concrete door stoop.
"Almost every day someone stops in here to comment on the renovations and thank me for doing it," Adams said. "It feels good to know people appreciate the effort."