Walter Haugen stood inside an old corner pharmacy his father operated for close to 70 years on Superior’s East End. A junk pile was pushed near the plate glass front windows. Empty shelving units displayed old merchandise tags. A pungent mercurochrome smell filled the dusty store.
He pointed through a hole in some foam panels overhead. The hole exposed a tin ceiling most likely installed when the building was constructed in 1878. Dozens of silver, square tin tiles decorated the ceiling.
Haugen said someone could be hired to take down the tin, which could be sold for a hefty price to antique dealers or architectural salvage specialists. But it won’t be done.
“It would be like gutting a relative,” he said. “It would be like if you had a pet deer that you raised and someone asked you to chop it up and sell them the meat. You just wouldn’t do it.”
The East End Drug Store, on the corner of Fifth Street and 22nd Avenue, anchors a collection of storefront buildings in the oldest business district in Superior. The 19th Century buildings are expected to meet the wrecking ball in the coming weeks, opening a prime corner to commercial redevelopment.