Heinrichs remodel historic buildingAnother building in downtown Jamestown has been rehabbed ready to last a second century, said its owner, Dwaine Heinrich, and where he can, he’s preserving pieces of its history. Unlike its nearest neighbor, the 1884 C & W building on First Avenue, Heinrich’s has no name etched into the façade, and according to the records, is about 20 years newer. It was built sometime between 1901 and 1904.
By: Toni Pirkl, The Jamestown Sun
Another building in downtown Jamestown has been rehabbed ready to last a second century, said its owner, Dwaine Heinrich, and where he can, he’s preserving pieces of its history.
Unlike its nearest neighbor, the 1884 C & W building on First Avenue, Heinrich’s has no name etched into the façade, and according to the records, is about 20 years newer. It was built sometime between 1901 and 1904.
“We’re calling it the 114, because that’s the address,” he said, as in 114 First Ave. S.
Before Dwaine and Joyce Heinrich bought the building, the ground floor was last occupied by The Shape Shop. Now the building houses Heinrich’s insurance adjustor business in the basement, an insurance company on the ground floor and the Heinrichs’ home on the second floor.
But there was a lot of demolition and remodeling that happened before the finished product.
“We started in 2004 and put in over 600 hours of demolition,” Joyce said.
Dwaine said he thought there were more hours in it than that. There was 7 to 8 feet of rock wall in the basement that had to be sledge- and jack-hammered out. There were seemingly endless miles of old lath and plaster to rip out, exposing brick walls behind. Then the brick had to be scraped and cleaned.
“A pit is what it was,” Dwaine said. “It wasn’t really hard work, but it was tedious.”
He and Joyce did much of the demolition, conning friends and relatives into helping out from time to time. Although they’ll never do it again, both agreed it was worth it.
“It’s a neat thing that after going through the work we did, someone would be using this building 75 years from now,” Dwaine said. “It’s important for a community to save what they can of their downtown.”
The building has housed a variety of businesses and organizations in its lifetime.
In 1904, Harry Higgins had a barbershop in the basement. Today there is still a barbershop in the basement. Reuben Junkert has had a barbershop there since 1968.
“The rest of the building was abandoned and he was here alone for years,” Dwaine said.
Artist J.A. Kirkpatrick painted the sign on Junkert’s barbershop door, Heinrich said. He was also responsible for the lettering on the door for W.H. Noel Co. That door now opens into Heinrich’s office. Heinrich plans to have the lettering touched up to commemorate the construction company, which merged with another in 1959.
A picture of a group of American Legionnaires hangs on the wall near Heinrch’s office. It was 1938 and the local veterans were celebrating the 20th anniversary of the World War I Armistice on what is now Veterans Day. Their meeting place and bar were in the basement of the 114 at the time.
Physicians and dentists had their offices in the 114 through the years, and clothing stores and other retail businesses took their turns in the building too.
A bank also occupied the premises. Security Savings Bank was chartered in 1919 and lasted 10 years almost to the day. The bank merged with the National Bank and Trust Co. The vault is still in the basement of the building and is now part of Heinrich’s office.
The building also once housed the Farmers Educational Cooperative Union of America in 1932. Now simply called the Farmers Union, Heinrich said it began in C.C. Talbott’s home. The 114 was its first official business address.
“It actually started in 1927,” Dwaine said.
In 1908, the 114 was the Dreamland Theater. Dwaine said he didn’t know anything about the theater, whether it showed silent films, had live theater or featured vaudeville acts. It may have done all three.
Joyce and Dwaine find the history of the 114 an interesting part of the building. Although it’s been completely updated, the couple have replicated the earlier time in the details of their apartment, using the “Architectural Guidelines, Jamestown Main Street Project,” which was done in 1996. Windows fit their original framing once again. Oak molding and cabinets are featured throughout, complementing the antiques and collectibles in the apartment. And despite damage from leaking roofs and years of negligence to the wood floors, they’ve been fully restored.
“Everything was remodeled with the history involved,” Dwaine said.
The Heinrichs have taken advantage of the Renaissance Zone tax incentives to give the building new life. They won’t pay any property taxes for five years, starting Jan. 1, and they’ll get a break on the state income tax for the purchase of a single family dwelling — their apartment.
“I believe there are a lot of people in Jamestown who would like to live downtown and the Renaissance Zone helps make that possible,” Dwaine said. “Now, what I’d like to see is some indoor parking. It would very much enhance the downtown.”
Sun reporter Toni Pirkl can be reached at (701) 952-8453
or by e-mail at