Arrow-right Camera


New Stores Keep Carnegie Square Looking Lively

Mon., Oct. 23, 1995

When Seattle-based Pande Cameron pulled out four months ago, knowledgable downtowners swallowed hard.

This was no small loss.

The upscale Oriental-rug merchant was the anchor tenant of the premier neighborhood-business restoration effort on skid row.

Pande Cameron left a very big hole in the trendy Carnegie Square micro-shopping enclave at First and Cedar.

But, no fear. In place of one excellent shopping attraction, Carnegie Square now has two that fit even better into the fashionable avant-garde cultural niche.

This genre is notable above all for, of course, a nucleous of faithfully restored gracious old buildings that reek of historical character. But beyond that, in Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis, wherever, the recipe for success also calls for:

A smattering of undistinguished storefronts and recycled holes in the wall in various states of disrepair.

Liberal doses of yuppie, nerd, and grunge.

A dash of genuine poverty. West First has no shortage of elderly poor and dope dealers. But a sprinkling of everyday bums would be better.

And lastly, dogs.

What magic there is in a bunch of mangy mutts on leashes and running around loose, I have no idea. But from all appearances, they are a key ingredient.

But back to Carnegie Square. New on the intersection are:

Vino! The name says it all.

And Eldridge Antiques, whose name offers no hint that this is also an art gallery.

In addition, Julie Wells, who with husband Ron restored three corners of the intersection, has moved her interior design business into part of the Pande Cameron space. The full-line decorating business had operated from the third floor of the Eldridge Building at intersection, since the Wellses reopened the former Buick dealership showroom two-and-a-half years ago.

She has combined the interior design studio with another business that she started on the street level two years ago - Spokane Tile & Design.

Besides wines from from around the world, Vino! retails bottled micro-brews in great variety.

The shop’s three owners - John Allen, Nancy Erickson and Jennifer DeSimone - have scheduled “wine tastings” Saturdays 2 till 5. They plan a series of educational classes on wines. And they will operate a “wine of the month” club that essentially enables customers to start their own cellar, DeSimone says.

Jane Schultz-Twedt owns Eldridge Antiques. She says the Carnegie Square mix of neighborhood shops is right down her alley.

“There’s something for everyone here,” she says. “People want the variety of a mall, but they want the personalized, attentive, knowledgable service as well,” she says.

She’s been intimately involved with antiques for years, starting as a freelance buyer in Seattle, where attended auctions and estate sales and picked up things for friends and acquaintances. Later she operated outlets in antique malls here and in Seattle.

Her husband, director of the antique shop’s art gallery, has outstanding credentials for the assignment. Richard Twedt chairs the art department at Eastern Washington University, and has an intimate knowledge of the local art community.

The gallery will show and sell the work of contemporary local painters and sculptors on consignment.

Reader Lorie Schuler of 1811 West Riverside writes: “With all the desire to upgrade downtown, what is being done about the skunks?

“The Browne’s Addition is considered the heritage of our downtown, yet is infested with furry black and white smelly vermin. Browne’s Addition has a serious problem that needs dealt with immediately!”

I can personally identify. It’s not just a Browne’s Addition problem.

I enjoy walking to work from my South Hill home for the exercise. Since spring, stretches of my route have become so saturated with skunk spray that they never really air out, and are almost impassable.

I haven’t met up with one yet. And I have no answer to the problem.

, DataTimes MEMO: Associate Editor Frank Bartel’s column appears on Monday, Wednesday and Sunday.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Frank Bartel The Spokesman-Review

Associate Editor Frank Bartel’s column appears on Monday, Wednesday and Sunday.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Frank Bartel The Spokesman-Review

Click here to comment on this story »