New antique mall coming to downtownPublished 11:10am Thursday, July 18, 2013
A Hartselle couple with Ohio roots is converting the old Abercrombie Chevrolet dealership at Sparkman and Chestnut streets into an antique mall and art studio.
Billy and Nancy Phelps purchased the property from the Alvin Abercrombie estate in early June and have been busy since that time making improvements. They are planning an opening in early September.
“We were looking for a space and I fell in love with this property the first time I looked inside,” said Nancy Phelps, who will manage the business. “It’s so unique. It reminds me of the Cadillac dealership my grandparents owned and operated in Ohio when I was a little girl.”
“We’ve installed central heating and air conditioning but other than that have done little to change the way it looked when it was built in 1948.” she added. “We intentionally wanted to have the same appeal to townspeople that it had in the 50s and 60s when
they dropped in to view the latest model Chevrolets.”
The name of the business will be El-Marie’s Antiques & Art. It will have approximately 50 antique rental spaces complete with a refreshments court and public restrooms in the old shop. It will also house an art studio and a showroom featuring artwork, furniture and a customer’s lounge area.
Phelps said a surprise find in the back of the building was a brick-enclosed furnace room and coal bin.
“We’re still looking for a way to include it into the business,” she pointed out. “If for no other purpose, it would be a safe place for shoppers to go in the event of a tornado warning.
“We are thrilled about what we’re doing, and we’re encouraged by the outpouring of support we’ve received throughout the community.”
Inquiries about antique space rental may be made to firstname.lastname@example.org.