Gourmet toast will feature at one of Anna Muller's Central storefronts as development proceeds on course
The legendary Downtowner, who owned the Kress and NEDA buildings, passed away last year

ALSO: Our monthly mini-library survey and review of key Main Library stats
Crews recently installed new windows at the historic Kress Building as part of an ongoing renovation.
For two prominent Downtown core storefronts on the cusp of opening as venues for art, food, and more, the show will go on as planned.

Anna Muller, the owner of the Kress Building (416 Central SW) and the NEDA Building (718 Central SW), died in October at 77 following several years of poor health (DAN, 11/2/20). But her sister, Frankie Veronda, and local property manager Victoria Van Dame subsequently agreed to continue pursuing the restoration of the two properties, and the work is picking up speed.

"We're going to work together to get her buildings up to snuff and get them usable again," said Van Dame, who is also the executive director of the OT Circus Gallery (709 Central).

First up is the NEDA building, which has been used only sporadically in recent years and is already in good enough shape to have opened up for an ABQ Artwalk event in early February. The plan is for an eatery called Curious Toast to move in later this year, with a menu featuring gourmet toast with various toppings, coffee, and other items to be determined. 

"It really just needs a good cleaning," Van Dame said of the building.

The Kress Building, on the other hand, is a larger renovation challenge, but the hope is to have it occupied by August or thereabouts, and possibly opened up for artwalk events before then, she added. What exactly the building would be dedicated to is a bit less defined at this point, but Van Dame envisions it as a hub for muralists, musicians, culinary artists, and other creatives.
Our monthly mini-library survey
Chilly-but-still-optimstic weather accompanied our monthly mini-library trek yesterday morning and it looks set to continue for the forseeable future. A good excuse, in other words, to review our mini-library map and head out for your own adventure. Here's what we unearthed:
Spur and Gabaldon (West Old Town): "Reading Lolita in Tehran," a lesser-known Steinbeck novel called "The Moon is Down," and an incomplete novel by Douglas Adams, published posthumously, called "The Salmon of Doubt."
16th and Granite (Downtown Neighborhoods): A history of domestic life in the White House from Kennedy to Obama, Tolkien's conclusion to the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, and the grammar classic "Eats, Shoots & Leaves." (The book is one reason that DAN, which as a rule avoids taking sides on contentious political matters, has nonetheless come down firmly on the "pro" side of the Oxford comma debate.)
Roma and 14th (Downtown Neighborhoods): At left, "Little Gloria ... Happy at Last" (the "BG" is for author Barbara Goldsmith), a 1981 account of a scandalous Vanderbilt family custody battle in the 1930s. Also: a golf course guide that may come in handy for your post-COVID travel planning, and "Hidden Figures," the story of three female African-American math geniuses who helped win the space race.
8th and Granite (Downtown Neighborhoods): A "fresh introduction to the fundamentals" of painting called "Conversations in Paint," a fetchingly-illustrated children's tome called "The Orange Book," and "The Dollhouse Book," which looks to be part history and part how-to.
8th and Marquez (Barelas): For those who prefer to read about travel in Africa or the dating scene in rural Georgian-era England with a generous stash of granola bars and Goldfish crackers, this mini-library has you covered. It also features a new colorful door.
Checkouts at the Main Library look to be recovering from the November lockdown, but still trail pre-pandemic numbers. Foot traffic, meanwhile, remains even lower than pre-November levels.
Downtown Albuquerque News covers greater Downtown, which we generally define as the area created by I-40, the Rio Grande, and the railroad tracks. We publish weekdays except for federal holidays. If someone forwarded DAN to you, please consider subscribing. To subscribe, contact us, submit a letter to the editor, or learn more about what we do, click here. If you ever run into technical trouble receiving DAN, click here.
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