Last fall, the historic Busch's Florist greenhouse at the corner of Jefferson City's Madison and East Dunklin streets had fallen into disrepair.
Father Time had taken its toll on the aging structure, as glass from chipped panels on the roof and walls fell into the space and wooden support beams were rotted.
"It was basically falling apart," said Nathan Muessig, a contractor who worked on a project to repair the structure. "They didn't really use it much, and it wasn't really open to the public."
Owner Reid Millard bought Busch's Florist last August from previous owners Nick and Heather McKague. About six months ago, Busch's Florist began replacing the chipped and aging glass panels.
Half of the original greenhouse had a dirt floor, and half had a concrete floor. Muessig finished the concrete floor in the renovation and salvaged as many glass panels as possible for the walls of the space. New cypress supports and a black and white checkerboard floor also fill the greenhouse.
Because of updated safety codes, Busch's had to remove the original glass roof and install a metal roof.
Minor renovations were made in the interior of the shop, too. Some lighting was added to the front of the store, and a protective covering was placed over the original floor. Other minor touches included putting new exterior paint on the retail store, adding new wooden frames for windows in the store and replacing some old windows.
After the project finishes in the next few weeks, the company hopes it will make the greenhouse a gathering spot in the Old Munichburg neighborhood.
Busch's Florist greenhouse manager Shay Mitchell said a greenhouse in some form has sat on the site since the 1870s. The current greenhouse traces its roots back to 1936.
The Busch family used the greenhouse mostly to hold seeds or flowers for sale when the family owned the shop. Now, Mitchell said, the renovated space will be used for services like custom potting, where the store replants flowers or other plants in pots for owners. The company also hopes to use the space for classes, such as basic gardening skills.
Busch's Florist will hold a grand reopening for the greenhouse from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. May 5. Coffee and crepes will be served until 1:30 p.m.
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