Probably built in the 1890’s, the Merit Building in downtown McCook, Nebraska, went through a radical interior remodeling in the 1960’s. The redesign converted the basement level into a mini-mall with numerous aluminum and glass storefronts. The ground floor remained retail and the second floor remained as office space – but each was updated with finishes of the period. It appears that much of the original storefront’s cast iron components remain, but are concealed behind stucco and tile work. The original brick exterior was clad in a coarse stucco finish. The building is distinguished by numerous arched windows on the second story; little else is recognizable from the original facade.
The 1960’s interiors have been well-maintained through the years and are old enough now to be historic in their own right. As a veritable time-capsule, the building is a fascinating glimpse into the past. The quality of the work done was quite good; the aluminum and glass storefronts are especially nice. Sadly, the building’s future appears grim; few tenants remain and it is rumored that the building may be destroyed. Hopefully that will not be the case.