Century-old Mercantile Mosaic Floor Saved for Tea Savoring Shop
CHATTANOOGA. Sometimes you are in the right place at the right time. Take Saturday morning, for example. I was enjoying a walk through Chattanooga’s Southside, noting how the vintage architecture was repeated in patterns of shadow all down the street.
I came across a shop door that had been closed for perhaps decades, now open to an expanse of vintage tile flooring. I paused to take in the scene of classic design, as shadows and sunshine printed the location across the mosaic with a serif font. I was in a particular place that had endured, specifically 1423 Market Street.
A bright blue Greek key pattern framed the room’s white tile floor. Small insets of similar blue tile added a splash of pattern. It is rare to see such a large stretch of delicate tile relatively in tact. It makes you feel hopeful when you see something that has endured use, and even neglect.
A young man was inside slowly mopping the century-old mercantile space, like surely so many had done before him. He was clearly admiring the floor as he paced himself, much like that Greek turnkey pattern in a dance with the mop around the room. He was oblivious to my trespass and camera, having work to do.
When he saw me he waved and I had the chance to ask if a new business would be moving into the vacant space, and he said yes. His wife was opening a tea room on Chattanooga’s Southside where some of the area’s best coffee shops, eateries, bars, and taquerias are also found, as well as a popular artisan bakery and brand new independent bookseller. It sounds like a delightful addition to the downtown neighborhood.
“This floor sold us on the space,” he said, mop still in hand. We both stood there a few long moments looking at the scene. History and details have such great persuasion.
We at Nashville Interiors applaud such effort to preserve the artful details and the work of repurposing such a charming space.
We wish Wild Flower Tea Shop and Apothecary the best when they open their doors to all of you this summer in Chattanooga near the historic Choo-Choo landmark. We found Wild Flower is already on Facebook, so keep an eye on how they furnish their lovely space. We had to share.