Truckee Books gets a new old look |

Truckee Books gets a new old look

The building that houses Truckee Books on the corner of West River Street and Highway 267 is going retro – way retro.

The building’s owners want to bring it back to the appearance it had when it was built sometime between 1900 and 1907.

“It’s really a benefit, from a preservation standpoint, to rehabilitate it to a more historic look,” said Gavin Ball, associate planner for Truckee.

Part owner of the building Cathy Nason agrees. So far, the Truckee Books building has been re-roofed and its stucco siding removed. Nason said future plans for renovation include putting stone around the cinderblock chimney, changing the windows and returning the siding to its original “board and batten” style – vertical wood sides.

“We want to make the building as close to the original as possible,” Nason said.

Returning the building to its exact condition when it was built will be difficult because the only photograph of the building from that time is from a distance and near impossible to see the details, Ball said.

When the stucco was removed, horizontal siding was uncovered, including a sign from a previous owner reading “Cook’s Plumbing dial 23.” Nason said she wants to donate the wood carrying the sign to the Truckee Historical Society.

Beneath the horizontal sides, the original board and batten sides were discovered to be in bad shape.

“It’s hard to get the exact workmanship of the original siding because it’s so deteriorated,” Ball said.

Historically, the most dramatic change to the building was made during the 1940s. At that time, it was changed from a utilitarian-style building to a Tudor-style – adding stucco and brick features and changing the style of the windows, which “compromised the original integrity of the building,” Ball said.

Final renovation plans for the restoration will be voted on by the Historic Preservation Advisory Commission on Aug. 22.

Nason said the exterior renovations would take about a year, although she’s still accepting bids from contractors.

In the meantime, Truckee Books owner Joyce Thomas will have to put up with some construction, although she said workers are making an effort not to disrupt business.

“I think it’s good what they’re doing,” she said. “It was pink stucco – anything would be better than pink stucco.”

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