A former Grand Junction pawn shop is about to ride off into the sunset, a very smokey, bright red sunset. As of Monday, August 24, the abandoned building is going bye-bye.

Have you ever done business with Mesa Pawn and Loan at 225 South 2nd Street in Grand Junction? Personally, I haven't. Regardless, chances are you've driven past it tens of thousands of times. It's the shop on the corner as you make the curve from Ute to 1st Street.

Mesa Pawn and Loan August 2020 D
Waylon Jordan

Why is it being torn down? The City of Grand Junction is calling it "Fightin' the Blight." A post on the City of Grand Junction's official Facebook page says:

The removal will help to eliminate slum and blight in the downtown area.

Ouch. That sounds a bit harsh. Does the area around 2nd and Ute really constitute a slum? Let's get technical, shall we? Merriam-Webster offers a few definitions of "blight":


  • Something that frustrates plans or hopes; something that impairs or destroys, a deteriorated condition.

How about "slum"? According to Merriam-Webster:


  • A densely populated usually urban area marked by crowding, run-down housing, poverty, and social disorganization

I find those definitions a bit heartbreaking. My mom spent the first two-and-a-half years of her life living in a small house just off of 2nd and Ute in Grand Junction. Of course, that was back in 1945, and the area was considerably different.

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So, what will become of the old Mesa Pawn? Perhaps another fancy new hotel. Maybe a new office complex. How about "none of the above."

Mesa Pawn and Loan August 2020 C
Waylon Jordan

According to the City of Grand Junction's Facebook page, "the remaining vacant land will be used as parking expansion for the Grand Junction Convention Center."

Downtown Grand Junction Businesses of Yesterday

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