Flower shop renovation draws on history

The Petals & Vines building is undergoing repairs after a car crashed into it in March.

Photo by Audrey Caro
The Petals & Vines building is undergoing repairs after a car crashed into it in March.

MONMOUTH — The owners of Petals & Vines have decided to take a historical approach when repairing the main entrance to the shop.

A juvenile with a driver’s permit hit the front porch of the building in March, damaging the front deck and stairs.

Dwight Triplett applied for a facade improvement grant from the Monmouth Urban Renewal Agency to help with the estimated $39,500 cost of repairs.

The grant application says the original 1926 building had an 8-foot wrap-around porch.

“We have made the decision to rebuild the main entrance returning the front entrance of the building to a style closely replicating the original facade,” Triplett said in the application.

The end result will be a 40-foot covered porch supported by four pillars, according to the application.

“They are requesting $15,000 in grant assistance which is about 30 percent of the overall cost,” said Suzanne Dufner, community development director. “Not included in that $40,000 they’re also doing improvements to the sidewalks and the roof as well.”

Councilor Laurel Sharmer asked about insurance coverage for the damages that resulted from the March crash.

“The insurance for the porch to be replaced as it was, was roughly $17,000,” Triplett said. “A problem arose when they realized they damaged the vinyl siding and were unable to match that siding.”

The insurance company eventually agreed to $27,300, he said, which would include replacing the vinyl siding with wood siding.

“(The architect) was able to come up with a plan that said look, ‘We can leave the vinyl siding, the addition of a porch to be covered and return the building to 1926 motif,’” Triplett said.

That would be an additional $20,000 to $25,000.

He said there are a lot of parts to the repairs they are doing to the shop, and that’s why they asked for the grant.

“The part we filed on the application was to put the new front on the building,” Triplett said. “That was it. Incremental to that, we have put a new roof on that was roughly $10,500, that process is now underway. Then out of the blue in the last 30 days, the sidewalk just started to crumble. The cement disappeared and it’s cracked, so we’re going ahead and replacing the cracked segment which runs from Main Street to the back of the building. The total cost of all of this when it gets done will be in excess of $50,000.”

He said sales at Petals & Vine are down from a year ago.

“It’s primarily, people don’t think we’re open even though the front, (has) these huge signs on it,” Triplett said.

He hopes all the repairs will be complete by mid-September.

“We’re using local architects, local contractors, local excavators who were out there today, who live in Independence,” Triplett said. “I think Maggie (Triplett) deserves the credit. She uses local unless it’s just not available.”

The grant was unanimously approved.

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