The one-story, glass-fronted Western Auto Store was built beside the William Preston Hotel Building in about 1960.

As the second half of the century progressed stores and businesses tended increasingly to locate away from the downtown area, which retained its commercial vigor chiefly by catering to the largely captive student population. By the 1980s there were few traditional businesses, such as hardware, grocery, jewelry, and general merchandise stores left in the district. One men's clothing store and several women's stores, a jewelry designer, and a single drug store were supplemented by book stores, inexpensive restaurants, bars, sports supply stores, copy shops, record stores, and specialty shops. By the late 1990s the drug store had gone out of business, but the Lyric Theater, which had closed in the early 1980s as a result of competition from the shopping mall cinemas, had been rehabilitated and reopened.




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