The Wood store was built about 1820, in typical Western Reserve Greek Revival style. It was the first permanent structure in Peninsula and is one of the oldest buildings in the Western Reserve. It was restored in the sixties by Robert Hunker, an architect who liked Peninsula so much he purchased the majority of downtown buildings. He liked Peninsula so much he locked out development with restrictive zoning and by having much of the town designated historical and inviolable. No water and sewer meant no fast food restaurants in his town.
Bob Hunker did draw up his own plans for sewer and water, but could never convince any regulatory agency they were viable. The current renovation has turned up many of his shortcuts, such as laying the gas line to the store 4” under the sandstone sidewalk. His cost cutting methods installed by his contractors, for full price, are legion in the village.
The man passed from this earth several years ago, and put his buildings in the custody of the Hunker Foundation, wisely renamed the Peninsula Foundation. The Wood store passed through several tenants; galleries in the art heyday of the town, dwindling away to a “collectables” store as the last tenant. When that shop departed, the Foundation began an extensive renovation, last May. I see in looking at the Foundation’s web site, much of the work is funded by donations. That ‘splains a lot, Lucy.
A friend who owns another gallery in town signed a lease with the Foundation, to take occupancy on June 1st. Diane intended to have her “Riverlight Gallery” open by the last weekend in June, to coincide with the big draw to town, the Boston Mills ArtFest. The work wasn’t done. In fact, the work was not done in time for any of the summer tourist trade, for the 4th of July, for Labor Day. Not for the first week of September, or the second, or the third.
Diane has a tentative move in date of Thursday, but I’m not holding my breath. The work I’ll have on consignment has been packed since June, and another tub has accumulated since then. I had granddaughters to carry it up the stairs back then; now I’ll probably commandeer a last minute worker for the job, this coming Thursday.
This picture is of the Wood store at the last time I was associated with it as a gallery, probably around 2004 or 2005. My friend Kathleen had her Crooked River Herb Farm shop there, and sold artensinal jellies, vinegars, soaps from her farm as well as the work of many local craftsmen. My brother Walt made the panels between the windows that listed all the unique items to be found in the shop.
The next time I visited the shop was Christmas, a couple of years ago. I did a blog posting decrying the Italinate pergola installed by some shop renter, and especially the sign hanging from a bracket bolted into the tree.
I took some pictures of the interior of the shop, and its then tennant's wares, a pop-up "fair trade" shop. I pointed out to the shopkeeper the cruelty of bolting a sign into a tree and left.
I'll post some pictures of the current renovation this week, and take some pictures of what I anticipate to be a beautiful new interior when I move in my inventory on Thursday.
September 15, 2015