Friday, June 17, 2016

Greenbaum's Closing, Historic Building Still for Sale

Well this is a serious bummer. Greenbaum's is closing and the building is for sale.

Back in 2014 it went up for sale
You might remember when it went up for sale about two years ago. Apparently they didn't find a buyer. From the paper:
[A]fter two years trying to find the right person to take over the business, owners Sylvia and Bill Dorney announced Thursday they are closing the store. A series of sales to empty inventory will start next week and the business will be gone by the end of August.
A version of the business seems to have been in continuous operation since November of 1899. Here's an early ad that Isadore Greenbaum ran in the paper. During the late fall of 1899 and most of 1900 (perhaps longer) he operated a "close-out" business. (So in a way, it ends exactly as it began.)

Early ad, March 6th, 1900
The business evolved through the generations. From Greenbaum's Quilted Forest:
Greenbaum’s Quilted Forest is a third generation family business that has evolved over time. It started as a dry good’s store, Greenbaum’s Dept. Store, in 1900; became a fabric store; Greenbaum’s Fine Fabrics, in 1946; and finally a quilt shop, Greenbaum’s Quilted Forest, in 1988. The shop is in a beautiful historic structure that was built in 1889, and is located in the heart of the downtown historic district in Salem, Oregon.
As important the quilt shop is, the building is even more important.

Back in 1966 Lipmans had wanted to buy the building to demolish it for more department store parking, but after having sold their interest in 1943, the Greenbaum family was able to buy it back and save the building and business.

Greenbaum's portion of the Eldridge Block
4th of July parade, 1892 or 1894
(Detail with comments, Salem Library Historic Photos)

This stretch of Commercial Street, 1940
Salem Library Historic Photos
Same scene in 2014, via google
Now, in a transition two generations later, it is for sale again, and this time it looks like it will leave the family for good.
The building, which is listed for $425,000 online through Commercial Real Estate Advisers, will be put up for sale after the store closes in August.
Hopefully a new owner will be interested in it as an historic property and will want to invest in its preservation and any restoration that might be necessary.

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