Construction activity is going on in Old Town Pocatello and there is definitely some noise going on between the band the practices nearby and the sound of construction tools, as is seems to be music to some people’s ears.
“It made my day,” says Devta Khalsa, Pocatello.
As Devta walks by the historic Monarch building in Old Town, he says he’s glad they’re building it up instead of tearing it down.
The 110 year old building was ravaged by fire on the morning of September 12, 2014 and has been unoccupied ever since.
“I’ve lived here four times for a total of about four years and I lived in that one, and that one and that one and one all the way around the corner,” as Devta points out each one of his residencies.
Devta says the Monarch is important to him because it was a whole phase of his life, and speaking of phases, the Monarch is just another phase closer to the restoration of the building, as owners Tiffani Wilson and Ali Gorny build a covered walkway to prepare for what they call the real phase of construction.
“So this is the pre-courser for safety, so pedestrians can walk past while we’re doing construction and also allows us to have our own construction access,’ says Tiffani Wilson, Co-owner, Monarch Building.
Tiffani and Ali are doing a lot of the work themselves and explain that it takes a lot of work to repair the building.
“So much like all the other reinforced masonry buildings around here, they do not meet sizemic code, so what we’re doing is bringing it up to code, so there’s no safety risks and if there is some type of event, then there’s no issues to the public,” says Tiffany.
And the ‘do-it-yourself’ attitude is a different approach to rebuilding a landmark.
“Instead of using the resource of money on the job, we’re using the resource of our time, our tools our know-how and putting it to work,” says Ali Gorny, Co-owner, Monarch Building.
She says they’ve been working with the city on the logistics of the project.
“The development comes every day we have a conversation with somebody, is a day we make progress with this and that’s what we’re trying to do every day is make a little bit of progress every day,’ says Ali.
As for Devta, he wondered if he would ever see the Monarch back in business again.
“Oh I’m stoked. I’m not happy, I’m stoked. I’m just like on fire,” says Devta.
Tiffani and Ali say they hope to have the covered walkway buttoned up and complete by Friday, August 16th.