NEGAUNEE, Mich. – Quickly approaching its one year anniversary, Lowenstein Antiques Marketplace is changing how collectors and dealers view antiques. Situated off U.S. Highway 41 just south of Upper Michigan’s Lake Superior shore, the shop is revitalizing the aging downtown. It fills a 6,000-square-foot vacant retail space and satisfies the need for quality, eclectic vintage items. The shop occupies a well-known clothing store that served the area for more than 60 years before it closed in the early 1980s. When the store closed, the space was left untouched.
|Lowenstein’s Antique Marketplace
334 Iron St., Negaunee, MI 49866
“We have a lot of customers who stop in and share their memories of the old store,” manager Jeff Plummer said. “They can’t believe it still has the original baskets that were used to move items from the back to the front of the store.”
Plummer said it didn’t take long for 12 dealers to come together and build a core of quality merchandise. The shop is now one of four large antiques businesses that line Iron Street, the downtown’s main commercial street. The shop has energy and attracts curious, young shoppers.
The dealers’ philosophy is to offer the eclectic, the unusual and the useful, Plummer said. Dealers share a “co-op” mentality and donate time to manage the front counter. All of the dealers want a shop that is approachable and offers different price points for young shoppers and experienced collectors.
“We offer low prices on great items,” he said. “If a dealer from out of town who is up here on vacation wants to come and shop for bargains, then we are all for it.”
A view from the back of the shop shows dealers’ booths and the original store counter near the mammoth storefront windows. The original basket shuttle system is still mounted to the ceiling. “When we first opened the doors it was like opening a time capsule,” manager Jeff Plummer said.
All decorating styles are well represented at Lowenstein’s. Here a dealer’s booth of 20th century glass and painted furniture takes on a shabby chic appeal.
|Vintage display units once used to show off the latest clothing styles now show off linens, enamelware and milk glass.||The top of a white, trifold vanity is decorated with antique lace, taper candles and ceramic trays at Lowenstein’s Antique Marketplace. A three gallon Red Wing crock sits below a painted lamp table.|
Dealers quickly took advantage of the shop’s original cabinetry by using it as a backdrop for their display, as seen below.The cabinets may be refurbished and used for displays in the future.
|Traditional antiques are mingled with interesting Mid Century furniture pieces, such as this interesting walnut tea cart priced at $80.|
|A drop leaf kitchen table and chair set takes on a 40s retro appeal under a layer of green and black paint. A set of vintage steel table top fans offer an instant collection.||Dealers at Lowenstein’s pride themselves on juxtaposing dissimilar items in their displays. Here, a weathered pair of vintage boxing gloves rests on hardwood floors in front of a bookcase filled with books, straw hats and shiny vintage kitchen items.|
|A colorful collection of carnival chalkware was offered for prices ranging from $15 to $35. The prizes were popular at carnivals from about 1910 to the 1950s when they were replaced with stuffed animals.||A turn-of-the-century cast iron shuttle and pulley system harkens back to the days of personal service. Manager Jeff Plummer said he hopes to refurbish the system back to working order.|
|A Mid Century Modern vinyl sofa with curvy aluminum armrests was offered for $575. During this particular visit the sofa was home to a vintage fishing creel and a set of hardcover art books.||Seltzer bottles from the 1930s and ’40s come from local companies across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. In shades of clear, brown and green, they were priced from $50 to $75 each.|
|Rows of dealers line the freshly refinished maple floors at Lowenstein’s Antique Marketplace in Negaunee, Mich.||A set of three olive side chairs look stately in front of a brass display unit. Manager Jeff Plummer said vintage and retro-looking items are popular with younger buyers.|
|Two more sets of Mid Century Modern side chair are offered, as is an aluminum storage rack on chunky casters.||Collector Adam Blasczyk of Canton, Mich., leafs through a stack of old mining stock certificates at Lowenstein’s Antique Marketplace. A devoted mush cup collector, Blasczyk and his wife, Cindy, stopped in after visiting family in the Upper Peninsula.|
|Dealers offer an eclectic array of merchandise. Here a painted dresser helps display a selection of bedroom items and vintage wall racks.||An old teal colored bookcase over double two drawers holds a collection of whiteware with a spray of dried flowers draped across the cornice.|
|Looking like a group of holiday carolers, a collection of four plastic Santa Claus figures are displayed beneath a felt cowboy hat situated next to a set of three 1960s aluminum minnow buckets.||Lowenstein’s Antique Marketplace opened in June 2009 with 12 dealers from Marquette County. Manager Jeff Plummer purchased the shop next door with the intention of bringing an organic produce market to town.|
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