Way Back When, April 28, 2014

Even with the development of mini-malls and big-box stores, downtown Grand Junction is as vibrant today as it was in the middle of the last century.

Art on the Corner, boutique shops, festivals, events and a variety of wonderful places to eat keep locals and tourists flocking to the center of town. 

These two undated Robert Grant photos were both taken at the corner of Fifth and Main streets.

In the top photo, you can see a crowd of people in front of Diamond Jewelers in a line that seems to be going around the corner.

Were they all waiting in line to go to a movie at Mesa Theatre, which can be seen in the second photo?

The line seems to go all the way back north to in front of the IOOF Building where Roper’s Music is now. 

The photo of the busy intersection seems to have been taken close to the same time period. Ladies are in their light overcoats and men in their shirt sleeves. There is still snow on Grand Mesa.

In the far distance you can see the Cooper Theatre and curved facade of Fashion Bar at Sixth and Main streets.

The gutters were a dangerous pitfall for both pedestrians and parking cars.

Soon, a group of forward-thinking civic leaders would redesign Main Street to create the shopping park atmosphere we enjoy today. Grand Junction’s extra-wide Main Street lent itself well to the Operation Foresight plan. 

The family of Bob Grant has been generous to let us reprint his photographs.

Grant spent his career as The Daily Sentinel’s esteemed photographer. Many of his archives were never printed in the newspaper but left behind in negative form.


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