Posted by Joel Keefer on Jan 18, 2019
Pictured L-R: Jim Schwab, Katie Geise, John Lloyd
Ongoing work within the former Viking Building along Washington Street in Jamestown was the topic of discussion this date. Building owner Jim Schwab was introduced by John Lloyd. Jim spoke to the club in 2018 to introduce the work that would be taking place at the building, and wanted to give us all an update.
Needless to say, the former Viking Temple has a lot of history connected to it, and Jim provided each table with some pictures of the inside and the outside of the building from the 20th Century. Originally built as a Ford dealership, the building has several levels, and even has the original elevator used to move vehicles from street level to what was once the showroom. Jim told that Henry Ford himself contacted the Mayor of Jamestown to arrange for the dealership to be built here. President Roosevelt visited the building along with his son back in the 1920's. 
Pictures of the building when it was the Viking Temple would be greatly appreciated, Jim said. 
Jim had hoped to show us some architectural drawings of the plans for the 2nd and 3rd floors of the structure, but assured us that what he's seen is very exciting. Environmental studies on the building have already been done, and lead paint and asbestos has been found that will need to be abated. While expected, Jim noted that it will be an expense to take on. 
The plan, according to Jim, is to fully restore the building to its original status. However, that will take funds to do so. 
Phase One of the project has been completed, which was the opening of the highly touted "The Beer Snob".  "Focusing on delicious and unique craft beers from all over the country, the 36 tap draft system inside the store will keep your glasses full," according to their website. The Beer Snob also sells 6-packs and Growlers to go, along with food. 
Phase Two will focus on the 2nd level of the building, with a top priority being the restoration of the passenger elevator. Jim hopes to update it in order to pass inspection, while still maintaining the historic charm. The 2nd floor of the building offers wood paneling/trim, a full bar and five rooms that could be rented out for gatherings/meetings. The 3rd floor is where the gorgeous ballroom sits, just waiting to be renovated.
Jim told us that the City of Jamestown has provided a $1 million grant, however, he still needs over $1 million more in order to finish the project. He has provided much of his own money to pay for the work already, but has reached out to local groups/foundations for funds as well. 
We all wished Jim the best of luck on the project!