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Facade Squad strikes again

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Three businesses on North Main Street are getting some prep work for their new designs, expected to be completed within a couple of months. William Powell, right, preservation and design specialist with New Mexico Main Street and a member of its "Facade Squad," is lending some elbow grease this week along with building owners. In this case, Don McLean, on ladder, is working on the properties at 209 and 207 N. Main St. that he and his family lease to tenants. MainStreet Roswell volunteer crews plan to spend some weekends painting in coming weeks, and specialists will be brought in when needed for lighting or other technical work. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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The Facade Squad helped to improve exteriors of local Main Street buildings in 2010 and has worked on hundreds of buildings statewide since 2008.

“This is all in hopes of boosting economic development,” Powell said, “decreasing vacancies and increasing revenues.” The work across the street already has revealed some original architecture. The building occupied by the Alien Zone at 216 N. Main St., which consists of two stores, the Area 51 attraction and the Cosmic Jukebox novelty store, has an alcove, or recessed area, above the entrance. It has been covered up during previous renovations. “In earlier times, people wanted to cover them,” Powell said. “It’s been long enough that they now consider these features historic.”

MainStreet Roswell has received two grants to improve the downtown exteriors. A Design Initiative Grant from New Mexico Main Street provides Powell’s design assistance, and a Resilient Communities Fund Award from the New Mexico Resiliency Alliance awards some funding to pay for the renovations.