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MEEKER | When it comes to makeovers, who’s better suited to perform one than a beauty salon?
In 2013, Meeker native Jan Nye took on the challenge of giving a facelift to the iconic building on Main Street that housed the town’s drugstore for nearly a century.
Nye applied for a site enhancement grant from the Town of Meeker to do the work. Interior work was done first, adding rooms for beauty and spa treatments, lighting, paint, and fixtures. The exterior work proved tricky, and somewhat controversial.
Since the early 1920s the building’s facade was composed of a distinct black and green glass tile called Vitriolite, an opaque structural glass product that came in a multitude of jewel-like colors. Vitriolite first appeared in about 1900 and was used for everything from countertops to lining washing machine tubs.
“You can’t buy it anymore,” Nye said. She did her research, even contacting one of the only Vitriolite specialists in the nation, but the cost of attempting to save the facade far outweighed the grant funding she’d received.
So Nye made the difficult decision to replace the entire facade, a lengthy project that finally came to completion at the end of 2016.
“Some of the pieces were broken or missing or loose” Nye said, “I took one of those (tiles) off with a screwdriver and my fingernails. You don’t want a half-inch thick glass tile falling on someone walking by. A lot of the broken tiles had been replaced with Plexiglas.”
She said a few people were “pretty upset” with her for changing the building’s appearance, even though the tiles weren’t original to the building. In fact, half of the original building was overtaken by the bank expansion.
The Meeker Drug sign, which had been in place for several decades, was removed in 2014. It was preserved and relocated to an interior wall at Country Raised at 275 Sixth St.
“We used all local labor and materials,” Nye said, because it seemed like the right thing to do since the money had come from the town. “I’m thankful to the town for their grant program.”
Wyatt and Suzanne Edinger replaced the tiles. Steve Bringuard made the wrought-iron Juliet balcony and matching benches. Identity Graphics designed the new logo and signage for the salon, aptly named “Prescriptions.”