We had no IDEA what we were getting into with our retail. We started rehabbing this semi-industrial, near downtown, long empty building, without a real design plan. Our plan, half-baked, was to create a roasting space, and see what we could do to allow people to comfortably stop in to buy our coffee.
Then we uncovered our wall. Under a layer of drywall, a layer of paneling, and behind a built in bookshelf, that seemed built to last forever, we found our theme. It was a deep, beautiful, breathe of fresh air, in a dirty and long process, that truly needed the hope that it provided. It was a wall, that was done, long before even our planning was done, we had a wall. Ready to go.
As we continued our work we figured out a few things about our wall, namely, it’s origin. Our neighboring building, at 707 Water, is an interesting hodgepodge of earlier buildings. It used to be two separate buildings, with the tall section, on the left when facing it, being a very early structure. Like most buildings of it’s era, it sported wood siding, specifically gray colored wood siding. We know this because the back side of our wooden wall boards are gray. And the siding is still visible in the basement entry to 707.
We believe our building was added to the property in the 1950’s, for storage and additional showroom space for the Funeral Home/Furniture shop that was located at 707 Water. The finished area of our building was created with a heavy duty floor in the attic space, to store something heavy, like furniture, and with a floor drain in the back garage to wash vehicles. They created a breezeway between the two buildings, and probably just took the wood siding off where they put the addition, and transferred them into our space, to easily and cheaply finish our wall.
We like the way it looks, and when you add in all the history of the property that it entails, we love it. Our wall is older than anyone who will ever enjoy it, and has seen more than it would ever have the time to tell us about. So we will just enjoy it’s company.