Morgan Modjeski/Metro Deborah Perry, owner of Optika Eclectic Eyeware, stands in front of graffiti at the Farnam Block, the former home of Lydia’s Pub. She says the mess has become an eyesore.

Saskatoon business owners are decrying vandalism that’s increasingly targeted one of the city’s historic boom-era buildings.

The Farnam Block, former home of Lydia’s Pub, was constructed in 1912 and has seen two World Wars alongside its share of interesting and unusual tenants.

In the three months since Lydia’s closed its doors, the vacant 2 1/2-storey building has been tagged with markers, spray-paint and paint sticks — and nearby tenants say the graffiti has become an eyesore.

“It’s not really great for the neighbourhood,” Deborah Perry, owner of Optika Eclectic Eyeware, told Metro.

“It’s a great shopping district. And to have a building that’s looking a little dirty and run-down, it’s not great for how people perceive the area.”

The Broadway Business Improvement District says it’s disappointed that someone would go out of their way to vandalize any building in the area, let alone the prominent structure at Broadway Avenue and 11th Street.

“It’s a concern, just the same as graffiti is an issue throughout the district,” Broadway BID executive director Sarah Marchildon explained, noting that her organization has spoken with the property’s owners about having the graffiti removed.

“It’s just a shame that the Saskatoon community members spoil the atmosphere of one of their very favourite communities, I would say, for others.”

Joan Thomas, business manager for the Farnam Block’s ownership group, said they’re trying to clean up the mess.

“We are aware of the graffiti on the building and it will be dealt with in the very near future,” Thomas said.

“There was graffiti when it was an occupied building, and we’ll deal with it as responsible business owners.”

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