Answers: Questions about Politsch Hardware, Paul Tibbets, tree trimming and Maine Street medians

The former Politsch Hardware Store at 834 S. Eighth is owned by photographer Lisa Wigoda. (H-W Photo/Steve Bohnstedt)
Posted: Jul. 12, 2013 5:26 pm Updated: Jul. 26, 2013 8:15 pm


What is going on in the old Politsch Hardware building at Eighth and Jefferson? There are several great-looking, beautiful big star decorations in the windows that are lighted up at night.

Lisa Wigoda bought the building at 834 S. Eighth four years ago, and she has lived upstairs for two years. She opened a photo studio in half the lower level a couple of months ago.

"I don't have a sign up front, and I don't have regular business hours yet," Wigoda said. "But we're up and going."

The other half of the first floor of the building is rented to jeweler Peggy Ballard, who Wigoda says is planning to offer jewelry-making workshops in the fall.

The former Politsch Hardware building has been empty for more than 40 years.

"I drove by and saw the ‘For Sale' sign, and apparently, I decided I needed to be a steward," said Wigoda, a former Herald-Whig photographer. "When I bought it, there were 3,000 square feet of hardwood floors and woodwork that never was painted. I guess I just needed a project."

Wigoda calls herself a "green person" and immediately became interested in preserving the old building.

"I'm going to do the kind of thing that I wish to God people would do more of around (Washington) Square," she said. "I would love to see people not just look at the properties as something to let sit. Sell them for a reasonable fee to someone like me who wants to do something good and preserve something for Quincy.

"I just hate to see the good old buildings deteriorate."

Wigoda says she loves hearing from people who remember going to the hardware store as a child with their parents or grandparents.

"You can feel the love that was here," she said. "I just love knowing how much everybody loved this place and loved Leroy (Politsch, the previous store owner).

"This has been a labor of love."

As for the stars in the windows, Wigoda says those are Christmas decorations she hasn't taken down.

Wigoda says she's available for portraits and weddings. Call (217) 224-6382 for more information.


Is there something in Quincy to honor Col. Paul Tibbets, who named his famous airplane the Enola Gay after his mother?

After checking with a couple of people who might know the answer, it seems there are no permanent markers in Quincy recognizing Tibbets, who piloted the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945, to help end World War II. Tibbets was born in Quincy and moved to Florida at age 9. He died at age 92 on Nov. 1, 2007, at his home in Columbus, Ohio.

Tibbets was the grand marshal of a July Fourth parade down Maine Street as part of a Millennium Homecoming celebration in 2000. He also attended a tribute dinner and held a book signing at the Illinois Veterans Home during that weekend's events, and Mayor Chuck Scholz declared June 30, 2000, as Paul Tibbets Day.


Who is responsible for the trimming of trees between the city sidewalks and the streets, the property owner or the city? There are two or three full trees on my street that block out a large percentage of the streetlight.

Mayor Kyle Moore says the city of Quincy is responsible for trimming trees in the right of way.

"Any resident can call their alderman to turn in a work order for a tree that is need of trimming," Moore said.


Who is responsible for taking care of the medians on Maine Street? They all look terrible, especially at Third and Maine. It is an embarrassment for the entry to our city. If they're not cared for, they should put them back in concrete.

At its July 1 meeting, the Quincy City Council approved a four-year contract with the Historic Quincy Business District for a beautification program. For $15,000 a year, workers with HQBD will clean and maintain public infrastructure between Third and Ninth streets, and Vermont and Jersey streets, including city parking lots. HQBD officials said they have also lined up about $5,000 in donations and in-kind services as a match to the city's investment.

Moore says the workers already have started work on the medians.


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