Making way for improvement
BOURBON — What goes up, unfortunately – at some point, must come down and the building next to Bourbon Street Pizza is no exception.
The building’s history is full of memories as is proved at the Facebook site “Fond Memories of Bourbon” where former and present Bourbonites shared that the building was once (in the late 1800s) home to the Bourbon News-Mirror, a dentist’s office (Dr. Linn), an apartment house and most recently, Larry Beeson’s law office. Purchased by Tim Harman, Bremen (owner of both restaurants connected to what is left of the structure), the building is being dismantled to allow for a patio area for diners of Bourbon Street Pizza and Subway to enjoy some fresh air with their meals.
“Jan Lemler is doing the work,” Harman explained. “He made a shell of it and took it from the top floor down.”
Lemler and his son Orion, 23, have been working on what he calls the “deconstruction, rather than the demolition” process that began last June. “We gutted the inside and took the plaster and trim,” he said. “I didn’t want to make a big mess.” And he didn’t, which was one thing spectators of the teardown have commented on. He said the building “needed” tearing down and that he and Harman made a deal that Lemler could keep any scrap or precious finds he unveiled during the process. “We’ve salvaged 420 pounds of nails,” he said, “and a one-pint milk bottle in perfect condition from Theodore Marvel.” Also found was 6,000 linear feet of wood, antique dental instruments, small (dental) medication bottles, and the perhaps the most interesting, found tucked inside the mopboard in the kitchen, a 1901, Bourbon Fair, grandstand seat ticket.
Harman said he wanted to give his patrons somewhere they could sit outside in the warm weather to enjoy their meals and that he was still debating whether to have tables with umbrellas or some sort of roof. He is also said to be considering a retractable awning, and he expects the patio to be ready for use this summer.