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The front door and wall that holds it are all that’s left of the old Greyhound bus terminal at Fifth and North Bartlett streets as The Commons construction continues. The wall will serve as the entrance to one of two park blocks. Mail Tribune / Bob Pennell - Bob Pennell

Portal from the Past

Wrecking crews have demolished most of the former Greyhound bus terminal, leaving behind a two-story wall that will become the new entrance to one of the parks in The Commons project.

Following the lead of other cities, Lithia Motors, which is acting as general manager for The Commons, plans to dress up the wall as construction continues.

"It's a work in progress," said Eric Iversen, project manager for Lithia.

He said the glass doors and windows will be removed. The actual look of the wall hasn't been finalized, but some ideas include adding a replica of the former "Greyhound" letters that had been removed.

Structural engineers will determine whether the wall can stand on its own, or would require extra steel to stabilize it, Iversen said.

He said local residents shouldn't judge the way the wall looks now because it will be a lot different when it is finished.

On the front side of the wall, scaffolding has been erected.

He said remnants of former buildings have been featured in other cities, including Portland and Washington, D.C.

The decorative finials from the former Littrell building, which also was demolished, have been saved and will be incorporated into the park blocks.

The Commons is a joint effort between the Medford Urban Renewal Agency and Lithia Motors. MURA is putting $14 million into the project and Lithia's headquarters will cost $18 million.

Lithia anticipates opening its four-story headquarters this summer.

The first park, between Fifth and Sixth streets off North Bartlett Street, should be completed by the end of September.

The second park, between Fourth and Fifth streets, should be finished sometime in the summer of 2013.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476, or email dmann@mailtribune.com.

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