Renovating "The Nace Building"

1855 West Point Pike. September, 2018.
This building was built by Samuel Kriebel in 1874, the year after the Stony Creek Rail Road became operational. The property is directly adjacent to what was at the time the train station. He purchased the lot from Jonathan Lukens for $225. He must have liked the location because he then purchased an additional 7 acres from the Amos Jones estate (a farm) for $2228. That's about $49,000 today (2019).

An interesting aspect of the building is that it was completely clad in slate, with a slate roof.
In 1874, Sam Kriebel also built a hotel across the street from this building, on part of the seven acres he purchased. We might guess that both buildings were built almost simultaneously. That hotel burnt down in 1877, but it was immediately rebuilt. Today it is known as the "Pizza Time Saloon."

Across the street from the train station, Kriebel built the mill at the corner of West Point Pike and Jones Avenue in 1877, the same year his hotel burnt down and was rebuilt.

1907. This is Kriebel's store and hotel. The entire building is clad in slate.
Did Sam Kriebel live in the side facing us in the photo? According to The Ambler Gazette, July 25, 1918, Sam Kriebel lived on Garfield Ave. One side of this building is on Garfield Avenue. No structure on Garfield Avenue comes close to this in size.
On December 9, 2013 the building and adjacent property were sold by Jeff Clemens to Hoff Properties
2005. The West Point Deli.
Bookheimer Brothers. Approx 1950
                                                                                                                                                                                    Photo by Beverly Beam Fulmer
Harry Nace ran a store here from 1905 till 1942. From the look of the enclosed
 porch, Mister Nace and his family may have lived next to the store, on the left.
What else do we know about Harry Nace and his store? Thanks to one time resident Joy Boileau we have some dates. You can't really see it in the picture, but the curved sign over the front porch reads "WEST POINT POST OFFICE." The words "POST OFFICE" are also written on the window (click on the picture).

The post office opened in 1878. It was to the left as you walked in the front door. Mr. Nace was the Post Master from 1899 to April 30, 1942. In 1905 he purchased the building from Sam Kriebel for $5000.

The day after Harry Nace retired (May 1, 1942) Edward Bookheimer became Post Master. He kept this title till February 14, 1969. Along the way, he purchased the building and general store. Bookheimer had been working with Nace since at least 1921.

Joy Boileau remembers the store from the 1940s. She writes that on the first floor were groceries. Downstairs was sold everything from blue jeans to Thanksgiving serving dishes. From the Ambler Gazette we know there was a shoe department on the second floor. "It was a real general store", according to Joy.

Mr. Nace bought a delivery truck and installed a gasoline pump near the side of the store in February of 1915. He also acquired a "new and up-to-date" slicing machine for his meat department.
Most of these photographs can be found in the "Then/Now" section of this site, but they are haphazardly arranged.

This shed can be seen in some of the old pictures. It was demolished sometime around 2010.
To the right, what appears to be a hole in the ground is actually a staircase leading to what was once a barber shop. From around 1910 to the 1950s the barber was Dr. Frank Nolan. At some around 1914 he sold the shop to Nevin Kelly and then moved to Niagara Falls. In 1916 he came back and bought the shop back from Kelly.

In the 1950s and 60s  the name of the barber was Pete Franzoni.
The side and rear in 2018.
Entrance on the left faces Garfield Avenue. Though the address is 1855 West Point Pike, there are no entrances on West Point Pike.
This side faces the post office. This is the entrance for "Salon Siren."
Facing West Point Pike.
Currently there are two businesses and three apartments in this building. The following pages will show that it had become a bit of an eyesore before it was renovated. They will also show some of the various eateries that occupied the bottom-right side, as well as "The Shabby Attic" which occupied the left portion. Upstairs for some time was an illegal "Section 8' apartment. It was illegal because it only had one entrance and exit. It was possible to break into The Shabby Attic and run out the side door if there was a fire, but considering the amount of furniture in The Shabby Attic, it would probably be The Shabby Attic that was on fire.