Welcome to the Walnut and Twine blog!
Since many of you expressed interest in the behind-the-scenes details of this renovation project, it seemed like a blog would be the perfect avenue for sharing information. We’ll continue to post on social media, too, but the blog will show all the things happening at 111 W. Sexton St. So, if you’re curious about the nitty-gritty details, join us here for a more in-depth look at the progress.
Going into this project, we realized there would be hundreds of surprises along the way - from extra costs & delays to hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Instead of stressing about all the unknowns, we decided to embrace and document them here as #100Surprises. So without further ado, here are the first five surprises...
Change is always hard. So deciding to renovate a 100+ year-old building that has served for generations as the heart of the community was, well.... kind of terrifying. How would those who grew up working and shopping at the old store feel about modifications? As it turned out, our first surprise was the overwhelming support and encouragement from friends and neighbors in the Harrisburg community. One gentleman even yelled, “We’re so glad you’re here!” as he drove by in his truck. Your enthusiasm for this project has been incredible, and we are so thankful for it!
Since the main level served as a grocery store for many years, one of the first tasks was to remove multiple rows of gondola shelving. And although there’s probably a proper way to do this, our trial & error (mostly error) method involved a lot of Chuck Norris-style kicking. During deconstruction, we uncovered a myriad of grocery items that had fallen under the shelves over the decades. There were cans of soup, packages of SweetTarts, Certs, cigarettes, baby wipes, and - our personal favorite - a packet of Wyler’s drink mix (circa the 1990s per our not-so-scientific Google research). Finding these items was such a fun surprise!
Unfortunately, not all surprises from under the shelves were delightful. In the southeast corner by the windows, we discovered a large hole where the floor had disintegrated. Our goal was to save as much original hardwood flooring as possible, but this discovery (and others) puts that plan in jeopardy.
The shelf removal also revealed a lot of plaster crumbling from the walls along the southeast corner. So, stabilization of this corner must occur before any fun renovations can begin.
The most entertaining find came from under the first row of shelves (near where the cash register used to be). Apparently, we weren’t the only ones who occasionally dropped their change while checking out! Watch for an upcoming post on Facebook/Instagram to see the plan for this check-out-change treasure.
Hopefully, you enjoyed this first peek behind the scenes. We plan to share updates every couple of weeks, so check back and see what other surprises we find.
And whether you’re local to the Harrisburg community or following along from afar,
“We’re so glad you’re here!”