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Fix-up work helps Twin Cities

When entrepreneurs acquire old buildings and fix them up, the community reaps the benefits. Congratulations to Scott Hibbard, Brian Tribley and Jeff Moore for their efforts.

Published: Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

“American Restoration” is a History Channel program that shows how relics of the past, through talent, imagination, and elbow grease, can be rejuvenated.

“Twin Cities Restoration” isn’t a TV show, but it is a positive trend we have observed in recent months as old buildings in Sterling and Rock Falls receive a similar facelift.

Earlier this week, Sauk Valley Media reported on the ongoing restoration of a 150-year-old stately brick house near downtown Sterling.

The Italianate house, at 401 E. Second St., was once the home of Moses Royer, a 19th-century physician. It is now owned by Scott Hibbard, who is repurposing it for the 21st century, with office space downstairs and executive suites upstairs.

Hibbard is not the only person who has taken a look at an old building and thought of a new use for it.

Brian Tribley has restored a former fire station at 403 W. Second St. in Rock Falls into a museum for fire trucks and equipment.

It is part of Firehouse Ministries’ outreach to the community, and its newly painted exterior looks nice, indeed.

Jeff Moore is working to refurbish a community eyesore, the former Neon Moon club at 1515 W. Route 30 in Rock Falls.

Moore got started last year and has made significant progress toward turning the structure into office space and storage.

We like the idea of finding new uses for existing buildings that need tender loving care. Such projects may preserve history. They may simply restore a building’s usefulness. If nothing else, they can greatly improve the appearance of a neighborhood.

Three cheers for Hibbard, Tribley and Moore, whose talent, imagination and elbow grease made them the “stars” of this episode of “Twin Cities Restoration.”

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