Yes, I’m writing again about the now displaced, spectacular, original cabinetry of the Harper’s Pharmacy. Regular followers of this blog will be familiar with the details of this story which I have to think are unusual.
In our story a savior of old buildings, Mr. David Schlafly, acquired one of our premier historic commercial buildings, the Cape-Harper building at Sutton and Maple. A much discussed and appreciated asset of the building has been the nearly original interior of the Harper’s Pharmacy complete with much of the beautiful cabinetry still in the positions where they were first installed.
Since the building left the Harper family several decades ago the pharmacy space had been used for little more than storage. It has been a jaw dropping step-back-in-time for those of us who were lucky enough to see it. Naturally we were delighted to know that a man with an enviable record in historic preservation would be the new owner.
All was well until we learned that the new tenant, the local chapter of the Sierra Club, did not want the cabinets in their space. A meeting between their director, Mr. John Hickey, and I confirmed that. Mr. Hickey could not be swayed. I don’t know what Mr. Schlafly’s position is because he would not schedule a meeting with me.
I’ve read in posts by Doug Miner that the cabinets are staying in the building and at least some of them will be used by a different tenant. I certainly hope Mr. Schlafly will commit to keeping the cabinets in the building. It seems a bit like restoring an old car and deciding to put the dashboard in the trunk. It is unusual but at least the dashboard is still there if the next owner wants to complete the restoration.
Photos courtesy of Alice Harper and Mary Harper Hall