Van Polens uncover and restore a piece of history in downtown Wenatchee
I very much appreciate folks in town who go the extra mile to preserve unique features of historic buildings.
Dan and Cheryl Van Polen, the owners of Performance Footwear in Wenatchee, found such a treasure when they pulled up the carpeting in the two entry ways to their building at 24 S. Wenatchee Avenue and discovered a beautifully engraved Kress logo, the name of the store that opened in 1930 or 1931 and closed in 1974.
Dan Van Polen and Steve Godfrey, who runs the men’s floor downstairs for the Van Polens, were kind enough to show me the lengths they are going to restore the look of the entrances.
They consulted with the Greg Wilson of Designer Floors about the best way to bring out the historical feel of the logo. Wilson suggested a pattern of grey and brown tiles. Godfrey did the work of jackhammering out the concrete around the logo and doing the tile work. The entrance at the south end of the building is complete and work will commence on the main entrance will commence this week.
The Van Polens bought the property about 2005 and have restored the building and developed a successful business catering to the growing running and outdoors community.
It would have been a lot less expensive for the Van Polens to keep the logo covered, but they saw an opportunity to make a contribution to our history.
Stop by their store and tell them how much you appreciate the way have cared for this beautiful building and preserved some unique local history in our valley. Let’s support small businesses who make such unselfish contributions to our community.
The Art of Community Project is dedicated to creative community building in North Central Washington. See the story and more photographs at artofcommunityncw.com.