Carolyn - owner, operator, framer, Queen
The view looking east
Snow Day by Pat Moss celebrates the 100th birthday of the home that houses The Art Loft Gallery, Ltd.
FROM THE PAST TO THE PRESENT
in the beginning:
The journey of The Art Loft Gallery, Ltd. began in 1984 when my husband, Paul Welch, and I opened its doors in a downtown Collinsville location. Within five years, the P. Buckley Moss business as well as the custom picture framing service grew to the extent that the gallery needed to relocate into a larger space. In 1988 the current location of The Art Loft Gallery, Ltd. (702 St. Louis Road), was purchased.
The house is 109 years old and continues to be referred to as the “Glass” house by townfolk because the Glass family, owner’s of the former Jere’s Department Store, had purchased it in 1938 and continued living there until 1974.
the floor plan:
The first two floors of The Art Loft Gallery, Ltd. feature a wide variety of framed P. Buckley Moss artwork (all framing done in-house and all for sale), a huge selection of antiques (circa
1840s-1920s), and giftware. The lower level is my workshop where I create and complete custom framing projects for customers as well as the gallery.
history of the house:
The Art Loft Gallery, Ltd. is a jewel on the city’s west end. Because Collinsville was a coal mining town, very few large houses can be found - most are located on Vandalia Street, at the north end of town. The original owner of the house was Jess Long, who owned the ice and fuel company. In 1906 he built the stately manor for his family, which also included the attached carriage house. Not only are the original accordion-style doors still in use (located at each end of the carriage house allowing horse-drawn carriages to enter and exit), but 74 panes of the original beveled glass windows are still in place causing the carriage house to twinkle in the sunlight.
Although the property has been zoned commercial, I made a promise to the house the day it was purchased that I would never do anything to the house, interior or exterior, to compromise it; that it would continue to appear as a residence for as long as it housed The Art Loft Gallery, Ltd., and that it could return to being a residence, if someone so desired, at some point in the future.