Not your father’s Carbondale: Even Dinkel being upgraded
It’s like a construction bomb was detonated in downtown Carbondale, with pulverized sidewalks, concrete barricades to detour traffic off Main Street, and scaffolding from the sidewalk to the top of the Dinkel Building on Fourth Street.
Sidewalks are torn up on Main Street from Fourth Street to Third Street. Carbondale is in the first phase of a project to fix up downtown with wider sidewalks, ornamental street lights, dozens of trees, and a small plaza at Fourth and Main.
The concrete barriers keep vehicle traffic out of the 300 block of Main Street.
The work on Carbondale’s historic Dinkel Building is a little harder to figure for downtown head-scratchers.
Building owner Tony Mazza was not available for comment, but assistant town manager Bentley Henderson has been working closely with him on the project.
Henderson said plans for the Dinkel Building project started last December when a loose brick from the parapet cornice fell to the Fourth Street sidewalk, prompting the town to block it off for safety reasons.
“It didn’t hit anyone, and nobody was injured,” said Henderson.
Henderson said the top few tiers of bricks on the Dinkel Building’s Fourth Street side were removed over the last few week, replaced where needed, and new mortar was put in.
Unfortunately for historic preservation fans who have been grumbling around town, the bricks were restacked on top of one another in a straight line, so the offset cornice that used to extend out over the sidewalk is becoming history in its own right.
Henderson said Mazza plans to extend the reconstruction work around to the Main Street side to the Dinkel Building stairs. He has been told Mazza hopes to retain the distinctive brick cornice on the Main Street side.
“That’s the goal, anyway,” Henderson said.
Henderson said the Fourth Street part of the project should be finished late next week, and the sidewalk along the Black Nugget will be reopened. The Main Street section of the project should be finished about a week after that.
The two-story Dinkel Building is more than 100 years old, and is downtown’s landmark. At the turn of the century and into the 1920s, when the potato was king, potato buyers stayed in the Dinkel Building’s upstairs hotel.
In more recent times, the Dinkel Building has been home to everyone from the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities to community radio station KDNK. Today, Dinkel Building businesses include the Black Nugget bar, the Crystal Theatre, a bike shop, galleries and a floral shop.
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