Old Mason’s Opera House / Toy Town Antiques
The Town of Snow Hill, through an incentive program to encourage downtown growth by matching viable prospective retailers with town-owned historical structures, retained Davis, Bowen & Friedel, Inc. (DBF), to work with Toy Town Antiques. The former Old Mason’s Opera House, a 8,600 SF two-story building which remained vacant for several years; the owner of Toy Town Antiques, was drawn to its highly visible location, its historic character and richly exposed brick and timber interior. It was an excellent match according to town officials.
Fit-out design services picked up where DBF structural stabilization efforts left off. The lower floor was maximized to provide museum-quality display cases for antique toy merchandise, with contiguous space available for some stock, storage, restroom, and stairway to the second floor. This second-floor space was renovated to accommodate additional stock/storage, merchandise prep area and offices.
Two unique challenges for the project involved egress considerations involving existing sidewalk grade elevations, and the introduction of a carriage-style door on the front façade to permit easy access for larger pieces of antique merchandise.
The store is unique and whimsical in its own right, and the space it occupies enhances product display. The volume within is ideal for larger hanging pieces. The end result is a colorful museum-like shop easily transfixed within the brick and timber structure.