EBENSBURG - During the past century, it has served as a home to hardware stores, bars, dance clubs and an auto parts shop.
A nearly $2 million renovation took a two-story West High Street building's exterior back to its 1910 look, but L. Robert Kimball & Associates will rely on the interior for its present and future.
Company founder L. Robert Kimball opened the doors to what he called a "labor of love" Wednesday - a fully revamped downtown site with a company corporate conference center and staff training site.
Mirror photo by David Hurst
A $2 million face-lift renovated this former hardware site in Ebensburg into L. Robert Kimball & Associates Corporate Conference Center. The West High Street building’s main frontage was rebuilt to resemble its 1910 look.
"There's a lot of history to this property," Kimball said at the invitation-only grand opening.
In recent months, the front facade on the main structure, which most recently housed Lee's Hardware, was removed and then rebuilt brick-by-brick to closely resemble its original look.
Inside the 13,000-square-foot site, the Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System is moving into office space on the main floor.
The second floor was renovated into 3,412 square feet of training and conference space, Kimball Design Director Henry Brunett III said. The main room, equipped with dual video screens, can seat about 80 people for meetings and training work.
"Until now, we've had to go out of town and rent out space to meet like this," said Kimball, adding that his architectural and engineering firm will use it almost daily. "It's going to be a great resource."
As part of an effort to revamp the business district, Borough Council worked with Kimball's Ebensburg Downtown Partners arm to find nearly $1 million in state funding for the work.
"We have all watched our downtown transform into a modern and vibrant area without losing touch with our past," Ebensburg Mayor Charlie Moyer said. "They turned a vision into a reality and it's a significant investment into our community."
Mirror Staff Writer David Hurst is at 946-7457.