Originally published on 1/3/13
One of the things we wanted to do with our winnings from The Amazing Race was to invest in the growth and preservation of Sharon Springs’ Main Street. So when the Village Hall Gallery recently came up for sale, we saw it as the perfect opportunity to expand the Beekman 1802 Mercantile and headquarters.
We were lucky that the previous owner, our friends Leila and Philip Durkin, had already done such a fantastic job restoring the property – even winning a preservation award for their efforts. We will make some further changes to bring the building back even closer in looks to one of its earliest incarnations.
We’ll post updates frequently as work progresses, and will share some “How-To’s” for our design ideas as we go along. We plan on having a Grand Opening by this year’s Sharon Springs Garden Party (June 1 & 2, 2013) and hope to see you then!
For now, here are some “before” pictures:
The future home of Beekman 1802 Mercantile and “Global HQ.” The structure was built in the Italianate style, popular in the mid-late 19th century. Originally it stood several blocks north and across Main Street, and was moved to its current location sometime between 1885-1895.
For many years it housed the Sharon Springs Fire Department. Our intent is to recreate a similar look to this era by restoring the two firetruck bay openings, visible in this picture.
This is the inside of the left firetruck bay. The door and windows will be removed to create one large window.
This is the other firetruck bay. The end wall will also be replaced by one large window. The two bays will also be joined by an arch to create a larger retail space.
The ceilings are beautiful, and won’t be touched!
The rear of this bay is connected to the back room.
This room was used for many years as the Sharon Springs Free Library.
Now it will be the center for our packing and shipping operations.
Upstairs is simply one, large bright loft space. We haven’t decided how we’ll use this space yet.
We have a great view of the American Hotel and Restaurant across the street. Wonder if they’ll deliver?
The basement is also large, and luckily for us, very dry. We’ll use this space for display storage.
Two large streams join in the back of the property and flow into an underground river that travels the length of Main Street. Perhaps we’ll have a garden back here one day. We’re very grateful to Leila and Philip Durkin, who owned the building previously. They did tremendous restoration work, even winning the 2011 Otsego Adaptive Re-Use Historic Preservation Award. As we have with the Beekman, we’ll dedicate ourselves to continuing the preservation of Sharon Springs history, and the good works started by so many before us.