Historic building damaged by fire gets restoration updates on on - Tucson News Now

Historic building damaged by fire gets restoration updates on one side

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

While one historic shop is closed due to fire damage, another iconic business is starting the New Year with a new look.

The Wig-O-Rama's roof and attic were damaged in a New Year's day fire. While it can be days before shop owners can return, the Chicago Music Store on the other end is putting the finishing touches on it's new storefront as part of a downtown restoration project.

Crushed metal parts, burnt two by fours and a big empty hole are where a part of Tucson's history used to stand.

"Once they move some of that debris out, they'll take more pictures, they'll look at this physical scene itself," said Capt. Barrett Baker, with Tucson Fire.

Built in 1904, the building on Congress houses the Wig-O-Rama and a now vacant unit, where fire investigators are sifting through clues.

"For an investigative aspect, a burn pattern, where the smoke lines are," Baker said.

The Wig-O-Rama was once eligible for grant money to restore its original look as part of a downtown revitalization project. Now parts of that history are charred.

Chicago Music Store CEO David Fregonese showed Tucson News Now restored tiles and fresh paint. "Architecturally this has been referred to as the queen of Congress, so there was just a lot of momentum."

Chicago Music is located in that same 1904 building. With help from grants, owners made $200,000 in improvements.

"There is no other place in Tucson that has buildings of this kind of historic value," Fregonese said.

The Wig-O-Rama fire means a step back in efforts to highlight Tucson's roots. Surrounding business owners still have high hopes for that corner.

"Just that it gets restored back to something that is good usable space for the city of Tucson, that people will be expecting to visit downtown more frequently," he said.

The Chicago Store CEO says he heard another restaurant was moving into that unit before it was destroyed.

Crews are still trying to figure out where and how the fire started.

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