Nelson's - 807-09 8TH ST

 Print Listing Historical Name - Fezer’s Drugstore
Style - No Style
Built Year - Pre-1886, 1965
State ID - 5WL4127

Description - Flat roof rectangular commercial building with broad façade. Smooth panels along upper façade. Shed roof fabric awning along full width of façade supported by metal poles. Center inset double glazed metal frame doors with transom and sidelights. Six large plate glass display windows with red brick kickplates. Red brick piers. Clerestory windows covered. Rear of building displays evidence of three separate buildings, with east and west sections of building having one-story rear projections while center section is two stories. Eastern section of rear has panels of glass blocks and flush panel door. Center section has deeply inset off-center entrance. Western section has deeply inset center entrance.

Historical Background - This building encompasses what were previously three separate storefronts: 807, 809, and 811 8th Street. 807 8th Street (the easternmost section of the building) was one of the noted 19th century buildings in downtown Greeley, Fezer’s Drugstore. J.F. Fezer came to Greeley and became part of the colony during its first year in 1870 (David Boyd reports that Fezer came with Dr. Law). He helped to dig the basement of the Flower and Cameron Building, and then went to work as a clerk in the drugstore and also assisted in the post office when James B. Flower was postmaster. In 1873 Fezer became partners with Dr. G. Law, an original member of the Union Colony and noted early physician. Fezer soon became the sole proprietor of the drugstore and purchased a one-story building, to which he subsequently added a second story. Dr. Law and Dr. S.K. Thompson then had their offices on the second story. When the building was completed, Fezer’s store was described as “one of the neatest and best furnished stores in town, both in drugs and fancy goods.” An 1892 photograph of the building shows a two-story brick edifice with ornate bracketed cornice, three tall pedimented windows on the first story, and a single storefront with center entrance. Fezer operated the business until his death in 1916. David Boyd described Fezer as “one of our wealthy and substantial men.” Fezer’s Drugstore was later purchased by the Gilbert Drugstore and moved to 820 8th St. under the name Gilbert-Bishop in the 1930s. Nelson’s Office Supply purchased the eastern building in 1947. The middle building, which was demolished about 1965, was known as the Dupree Building in 1901, housed Sear’s Supply Company in the early 1900s, and was the location of the Noah’s Ark Variety Store from the mid-1920s through at least 1960. Nelson’s acquired this building about 1965. The western section of Nelson’s is half of a historic building (811). This portion of the building appears to date to before 1886, based on Sanborn maps. The 1886 map shows that the building housed a grocery, also shown in 1891 and 1895. In 1901, a drugstore was located here, and in 1906-1918 a jewelry store operated here. In 1927 an unidentified store was in 811, while by 1946 the space housed a paint and wallpaper business, which was also shown on the 1968 map. Komac Paints was operating here in the early 1970s when Nelson’s acquired the building.