What Do You Title a Blog Post About a Bathroom?

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Construction continues with an exciting new addition to the first floor: a restroom.  Here you can see the framing in progress (the door on the wall leads to an existing mop room):

Newberry's group six 002

Newberry's group six 003


Just a few days later, sheet rock walls were in place:

2013-01-23 14.11.49

Soon it will be time to move on to the next project!  We wonder what that new ledge above this handicapped-accessible restroom will hold for all to see.  It’s a great new display space for the antiques that will be moving in shortly.

Bunches of Baskets

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We recently acquired a stash of old Newberry’s shopping baskets. Here they are sitting above our office space, behind the front counter:


 Did you notice that one of those baskets is unlike the others?  Take a closer look:

Basket font 1     Basket Font 2

The font on the right is more similar to the neon sign outside the building, the Newberry’s logo that Owego residents have seen for decades.  On the left is a jaunty script, but is it an older or newer logo?  We’re not sure.  Do you remember using these baskets?  Which of the two fonts do you prefer?

You’ll be Floored…

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Our latest progress!  Below, a picture taken as the floors were washed and waxed by local cleaners The Night Shift:

washed floor

Their work made a big difference. Below, our Vendor Representative lays out the square footage for booths on this shiny floor. Be sure to contact him if you’re interested in joining us.

4345 marking 2

Having a clean floor means we can begin to fill it up.  The showcase below originally held doughnuts at a bakery.  What will it hold next?

4345 cleaning

Another showcase ready for our vendors’ quality antiques. We can’t wait!


The Upstairs Rooms

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After the high-in-the-sky work on the first floor and stairway, it was time to turn our attention to the suite of rooms on the second floor. These rooms originally held Newberry’s administrative offices, break rooms, and, well, take a look…

A fresh coat of paint:

Newberry's group five 005


A safe, still locked:

Newberry's group five 009


Employee lockers:

Newberry's group five 004


A restroom, no longer in service:

Newberry's group five 007


To the left, the former customer service window accessible from the main sales area on the second floor:

Newberry's group five 012

We’ve already covered that space with new drywall in preparation for whatever these rooms will hold.  Do any former employees remember this space?  Most importantly, who out there has the key to that safe?

Up on the Roof…

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It’s hard to imagine now, after a foot of snow has fallen, but just a few weeks ago it was still warm enough to work on our building’s roof during a series of sunny November days.

The task at hand was the removal of the dirt and water you see above.  Our roof’s coating is relatively new and and we want to keep it in good condition.  After much sweeping, shoveling, and draining we hauled nearly a dozen buckets of muck downstairs and back home to spread in the fields.

Below, our proprietor uses pegboard to drain off water and lighten the load.


Being on the roof also offers some fantastic views of our downtown Owego neighbors!

Lake Street, looking South


North Avenue, looking North


Main Street, looking East

Going Downstairs

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The building’s basement… now blocked off and forlorn, we’re sure many will remember rushing to “go downstairs” to see the toys and fish at Newberry’s.  The location of the pet department memory seperates the baby boomers from the Gen X’ers.  In the 1990s, the pets were on the second floor, but originally they resided here.

As a consequence of the flood of 2011, until recently there have been no lights in the basement.  Now, he wouldn’t admit it, but your correspondent knows that big, dark and unknown spaces aren’t cheerfully entered by the building’s new owner.  Interestingly, he remarked the other day that he has never felt a twinge at all about his many forays into the basement since buying the building.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when one of our contractors, a man’s man if you will, offhandedly mentioned that, although he too had been downstairs in the dark many times, twice that day he went down and felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up.  He was more surprised by the feeling than the cause, because he “says” he “never” gets qualms like that and doesn’t believe in paranormal anything….you decide!

There are multiple stairways on this lower level, all covered by the Dollar Bazaar’s flooring. The double staircase above descended from the center of the main floor, but dig deep memory….can you remember where this smaller stairway, pictured below, entered the ground floor?  

Note the same red wallpaper we glimpsed in the last post. The first person who comments with the correct answer will receive a $20 Gift Certificate to the new store… all decisions by the management will be final.



Revealing the Grand Stairway

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We were really excited to remove the false ceiling covering the Grand Stairway to the second floor of the old J J Newberry’s store in Owego.  A real plus was finding the original Modern Colonial electric chandilier still hanging above the false work.

We hope to clean and relight this blast from the past for all to enjoy.

The Grand Staircase and Chandelier

The Grand Staircase and Chandelier

View from the newly opened staircase

View from the newly opened staircase

The Stairway

The Stairway

Do you remember climbing the stairs to the second floor?