Rio Grande Restaurant - 825 9TH ST

 Print Listing Historical Name - Woolworth’s
Style - Modern Movements
Built Year - 1957
State ID - 5WL4154

Description - One-story, rectangular, flat roof commercial building with brick walls and concrete foundation. Large precast concrete (resembling sandstone) anchors along roof edge holding suspension wires attached to roof of flat roof hood above storefront and extending around west corner. Star-shaped metal reinforcements along frieze. Façade has continuous glazed areas flanking entrance with metal frame plate glass windows and stuccoed areas under windows. Slightly off-center inset double door entrance with transom and glass block sidelights flanked by angled flagstone panels and tinted concrete piers. Flagstone has three glass blocks inset on each side. Entrance is topped by galvanized metal banded frontispiece which projects above roof. Second entrance toward east end has angled side walls and double glazed doors with wide sidelights and a transom. Sidelights have aluminum kickplates. The entrance provides access to an open hipped roof outdoor seating area with low metal wall. The west wall of the building has an inset entrance at the north end with double metal frame glazed doors with a transom and wide sidelights with aluminum kickplates. There is a brick lintel above the entrance. Wall of blond brick with concrete coping along roof. Three plate glass windows with four-light transoms, red stone sill and panels below windows. Plate glass window at southwest corner. Rear wall composed of red brick with concrete coping. Long red concrete access ramp with metal tube railings has steps at east end. Four flush panel doors (east two have transoms). Four two-part plate glass windows east of ramp with security grilles over lower part. Inset flush panel door with steps to east. Loading dock at east end with metal roll-up door.

Historical Background - This building was erected in 1957 as part of the redevelopment of downtown Greeley after World War II. The building was a $750,000 Woolworth store, which replaced the company’s earlier facility. Woolworth’s leased the building from Hilp and Rhodes Realty Company of San Francisco, which purchased the site from Joseph Ewing. The new “self-service” store included a 63-stool lunch counter. The facility had 14,375 feet of sales area on one floor which allowed double the merchandise displayed in the old building and necessitated an increase in the earlier 40 person staff. The Midwest Steel and Iron Works of Denver completed the steel framework of the building. Woolworth’s had opened its first store in Greeley in 1910 and had operated at 801 9th Street previously. The new store was called “one of the biggest stores along Greeley’s new 9th Street Plaza.” Woolworth’s transferred its operation to Woolco’s at the Hillside Mall in 1978. That business closed in 1983.