Neighborhood Landmark is
On November 11,1997 a fire broke out at Arlington Hardware due to an
electrical wire that had been accidentally penetrated many years before.
This 8,000 square foot store had been a major part of this Arlington
neighborhood for 60 years, and was being operated by the third
generation of the original owner.
The challenge was to restore the original look and feel of this long
established hardware store (with only the original masonry shell still
left), and to get it back into operation as soon as possible to avoid a
major loss of business.
This project was of particular interest to Bruce Cook, INRECON’s project
manager for this project, because he grew up four blocks from the store
and remembers going there for parts for his bicycle...or whatever else
he had taken apart.
Bruce came up with a plan to open the rear part of the store, that had
not suffered severe structural damage, as a temporary garden shop. this
allowed the store to partially reopen and provide the neighborhood with
a limited service store. To keep the original feel, INRECON installed
store fixtures that the owner purchased from several old hardware stores
that had recently gone out of business. An improved floorplan was
designed and some new skylights were added to provide natural light in
the paint department.
The focal point of the store for 60 years had been a large display case
for knives, that was used as part of the counter. This antique cherry
display case was burned, and covered with fire debris. During the
demolition phase, the case was removed and taken to INRECON’s
restoration warehouse, where Bruce devoted his spare time to restoring
the case to its original glory. On the day of the grand reopening, the
case was secretly placed in its original location to the complete
surprise and delight of the owners.
Arlington Hardware has reestablished its place as a family owned store
serving the needs of its neighborhood, thanks to the sensitivity and
efforts of INRECON