A billow of dust blowing off Monett Gun and Pawn at Third and East Broadway is a sign of work in progress. Contractor Brandon Wallace hopes it's also a sign of things to come.
"We want to make downtown Monett look better one building at a time," said Wallace.
Wallace spent seven years in Florida working on historical renovation. He has returned to Monett and started Wallace Carpentry and Design. He has also partnered with business, which has former Southwest Area Career Center construction technology instructor Steve Hilton in a new business focusing on restoring the quality look of historic buildings.
Wallace's team has already done a face lift on the former Massengill's building. The new owner, Broadway Resale, has asked to have the upstairs prepped for loft apartments.
Monett Gun and Pawn offers a chance to make a major statement. The former opera house building, dating back to the 1890s, spent decades as a grocery store and many other businesses.
Wallace's team has blasted off a layer of old paint. Carthage stone sections are being buffed to a shine. Red bricks are being repainted. The wood window frames are being replaced, and wood panels will be painted. A new green awning will be installed as well.
Wallace said the exterior will have the polished shiny look of a gun cabinet when he finishes.
Several other business owners are talking to Wallace about the exteriors of their buildings. Wallace hopes to work on nine different buildings and build momentum for others to bring back a classic look in the downtown district.