Everyone is familiar with Stranges Grocery on Pitkin Avenue in Grand Junction, Colorado. Chances are you've driven past the building on the corner of 1st and Teller a thousand times. Did you know both buildings have something in common?

In reality, the two buildings have several things in common with one another. They both share a history with a handful of other landmarks in the Grand Valley.

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These Two Buildings in Grand Junction Colorado

The building we still refer to as Stranges Grocery is located at 226 Pitkin Avenue. The other building pictured is at 838 North 1st Street. At a glance, you'll notice the materials are similar. What else do they have in common?

Famous Stonemason in Grand Junction Colorado

Does the name Nunzio Grasso ring a bell? I can guarantee you've been in at least one structure designed and built by the man. At the very least, you've driven by them thousands of times. I'm sure you're familiar with this Grand Junction landmark:

Grand Junction Colorado Stranges Grocery
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I just learned today the man responsible for the Grand Junction landmark, Stranges Grocery, is also the builder behind this house/business on 1st Street.

838 North First Street Grand Junction Colorado
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Other Grand Junction Colorado Buildings by Nunzio Grasso

According to historic7thstreet.org, some other well-known Grand Junction buildings built by Grasso include:

  • Redlands Community Center
  • Golf clubhouse at Lincoln Park
  • Catholic Church in Fruita
  • Loyd Files Research Library Museum of Western Colorado

Telltale Signs of Grasso's Work

What do all of these buildings have in common? Check out the stonework. According to historic7thstreet.org, "The stone was brought down from the Bookcliffs on the Little Bookcliff Railroad, to be unloaded in front of the Grasso house (924 N. 1st Street)."

It's a Small World

There's a strong likelihood you know some of Nunzio Grasso's family. As it turns out, I do. Until today I was completely unaware of this. Grasso has several family members still living in Western Colorado.

A good friend of mine, a former Grand Junction resident and Colorado Mesa University student Dave Guerrie, is Nunzio Grasso's great-grandson. Dave and his brother Dan are both top-shelf musicians in anyone's book.

Discussion With Nunzio Grasso's Granddaughter

I enjoyed a discussion today with Nunzio Grasso's granddaughter, Marie, and her son, Dave. Mary lived in the building on 1st Street along with Nunzio Grasso. According to Marie, "It was a great experience growing up with a resident colorful Italian 'NoNo.'"    Regarding the house on 1st Street, Marie said:

My grandfather built it for another family when my dad was very young. He eventually ended up owning it somehow at sometime before mid 1940’s. My brothers Lou, Al, I, my parents, NoNo (Nunzio Grasso) as we called him, all lived there. Mom and Dad sold it in the late 1960’s. Been a lot of things since then.

A Lot Of Things, Indeed

Looking back over the years, I can remember this building sheltering a number of businesses. Recently it was home to a tax and accounting service. I can't say for certain, but I'm pretty sure this is the same building I used to go to back in the 1980s for car insurance.

I'm going to dwell on this a while longer. This discussion with Grasso's family will hopefully reveal a number of other Grand Junction buildings with the same lineage.

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