Businesses change, but building remains

Friday, December 13, 2002

Business Today

What was once the John A. Vandeven Dry Goods & Groceries store at the corner of Harmony and Pacific and most recently the Craftsman Office Supply Co. at the same corner of Broadway and Pacific is getting yet another face-lift.

Grace Parry, owner of A Touch of Grace Herb Shop and Grace Cafe, will be moving her businesses to the old Craftsman/Vandeven site in January.

But while the street name has changed, the occupants have changed and more than just the roof line has changed in the building's appearance, the original building is still in there, according to property owners Bob and Linda Bohnsack.

"There are still a lot of things in the building where you can see the older architecture," Linda said. "The doors, the windows are authentic, some old cabinets built into the wall in a hallway upstairs. But there have been a lot of modern additions too." Other features of the building include stained glass, pressed metal molding and ceiling tiles, ornate entrance door handles and a curved staircase complete with wrought iron bannister.

According to Bob Bohnsack, John A. Vandeven and Lena Vandeven, his wife and majority stockholder, filed articles of incorporation for Vandeven Mercantile Company on May 12, 1912.

John Vandeven had bought the property at the corner of Harmony, which was later renamed Broadway, and Pacific on June 27, 1901, and must have established his store in the building already on site about that time, Bohnsack said.

There is no record of when the original building was built, but the property belonged to Johann Heinrich Sander (or John Henry Sander), John Vandeven's stepfather, since March 27, 1875.

On Dec. 30, 1911, a lease was filed, and construction began on the east side of the building. The lease was for the second story of the addition to house the Cape Council 953 of the Knights and Ladies of Security.

The building served as home to Vandeven Mercantile Co. until its purchase on Nov. 22, 1972, by C.A. Bohnsack, father of Bob Bohnsack. In the summer of 1973, Craftsman Office Supply Co. opened in the remodeled building and thrived at the location until the business was purchased by American Loose Leaf in 1994, Bob Bohnsack said.

American Loose Leaf was then bought by U.S. Office Products, which let go of the upstairs portion of the building and was eventually bought by Corporate Express. Corporate Express left the building in June of this year. The upstairs is currently leased by various companies.

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