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Pickens General Store addition ready for grand opening

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HEUVELTON - Next week guests will be invited to tour the new addition at Pickens General Store.

Reaching roughly 20 feet into the back parking lot and towering three-stories tall, the new addition makes the building truly handicap accessible for the first time without sacrificing the historical integrity of the building, built in 1858.

Construction on the project started in the spring and today the structure is nearing completion – workers are putting the finishing touches on the interior and inspections are underway.

Inside the decidedly modern but folksy addition, guests will see a bright lobby where the original stone working of the building can still be seen.

The addition includes bathrooms on all three floors, fire stairs and an elevator.

While the building’s historic opera house, located on the third floor, is still closed to the public pending future renovation projects, the elevator will take guests to the second floor, which is used year-round as a community space, concert venue and museum.

“I think we were all really afraid of it looking like an addition,” Betsy C. Hebert, manager of the Pickens General Store online shop, said.

But the addition, painted Adirondack green, appears as if it was always part of the building.

Ms. Hebert pointed out a wooden beam at the top of the addition that juts out from the wall that was formerly part of the building’s exterior elevator system. That example is just one of the ways the addition was tailored to complement Pickens General Store rather than detract from its historical image.

Beyond the entry way, which was two sets of glass doors, the new section of the building has been fitted with a full loading dock, which will help ease the process of stocking the building, Ms. Hebert said.

Community members and Pickens General Store enthusiasts are invited to join the addition’s Grand Opening celebration.

The evening will begin at 7 p.m. Friday with music by Don Woodcock and stories by Bill Smith. Tours of the new facility will be given as well and refreshments will be available.

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