ClothesTree_Lori Stephens - exterior

DeMuro Award Profile: The Clothes Tree Building (c. 1880) – Corvallis, Oregon

Located in the heart of downtown Corvallis, the building which has housed The Clothes Tree boutique since 1964 was originally home to a branch of U.S. National Bank. However, by the time current owner Nicole Nystrom started working there in 2005, the structure had been thoroughly remuddled, inside and out. And its classic 1880s façade was completely enveloped by what could only be described “cheese grater” siding.

When Nystrom and her husband Todd purchased the building and boutique in 2013, they did not believe The Clothes Tree’s rough exterior reflected the quality of experience they hoped to offer customers who ventured into the shop. Thus, they soon embarked upon an ambitious two-year renovation project — the first major renovation the structure had seen in over half a century.

Committed to restoring the building’s defining architectural features, the Nystroms began by removing its textured, mid-century exterior sheathing, and restoring the original plaster underneath. They then added a new LED-illuminated sign which spells out the name of their shop. But the change mostly likely to catch the eyes of people on the street is a 7-foot-tall replica of the original U.S. National Bank clock now hanging over the entrance of their refurbished storefront. As Nystrom told the Corvallis Gazette Times, “It was important for my family to put it up because that clock was a staple in our community for decades It’s a big part of the building’s history, but also the city’s history.”

Inside, Douglas fir trim now accents the walls, while new paint, LED chandeliers and track lighting have brightened the space. This brightening was intentional as many department stores employ low-lighting which can give customers a false impression of clothing and make-up colors. Nicole Nystrom chose to employ more natural lighting to provide customers with a more authentic shopping experience.

For tackling an ambitious renovation project, breathing new-life into an established local business, and transforming a downtown eyesore into an emblem of the Main Street revival movement, Restore Oregon was delighted to award a 2016 DeMuro Award to the Clothes Tree Building.

Project Details:

Owner/Developer: Amy & Todd Nystrom

Business Owner:  Nicole Nystrom

Architect:  Broadleaf Architecture

Contractor:  Bob Grant Construction

Budget: $367,000

Renovations included:

  • Removing the “cheese-grater” textured façade and restoring the original plaster underneath
  • Recreating the large, iconic U.S. National Bank clock using historic photos.
  • Adding personal touches to exterior pilaster medallions to help tell the building’s story
  • Updating interior spaces and lighting
  • Structural reinforcements

2017 DeMuro Award Winners Announced at Our Restoration Celebration

Please join us, along with preservation enthusiasts, architects, designers, and crafts people from around the state, for our Restoration Celebration!

The Restoration Celebration is Oregon’s premier historic preservation, restoration, and architecture event honoring the individuals, organizations, properties, neighborhoods, and landmarks that have been part of our state’s historic preservation efforts during the previous year, including announcing both our DeMuro Award Winners and our list of Oregon’s Most Endangered Places.

Save-the-Date

Friday, November 10th
5:30 PM Cocktail Reception
6:30 PM Dinner & Program
Cocktail Attire
Portland’s historic Sentinel Hotel

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