04 May 2015

The Sweetest Girl by Far

Once upon a time the Emporium on Main Street, U.S.A. didn’t run from town square all the way down to the backside of Casey’s Corner. While the facades have lasted through the decades, there used to be a host of small shops, just like the storefronts that could have been found on any Main Street at the turn of the last century. Perhaps the greatest loss during the 2001 reshaping of the Magic Kingdom’s main thoroughfare, however, was West Center Street.

Situated about halfway down Main Street, is the intersection of Center Street. Clever, huh? At Main Street, Center Street divided into its West and East sections. While East Center Street still remains, West Center Street was filled in to expand the Emporium in 2001. West Center Street was home to the edifices of the livery stables, Champion Cyclery, and the Chinese Hand Laundry, not to mention the real world home to the Harmony Barber Shop and Hallmark’s Card Shop. Some of these businesses would find new homes, real or imagined, and some would never return.

The Harmony Barber Shop has gained some renown over the past decade or so, but was always a hidden gem when it was housed on West Center Street. The one thing that couldn’t hide on the lane, however, was the Greenhouse Flower Shop. Less a shop and more a pageantry of flowers spilling out from buckets and over the sides of the carts that carried them, the brightly colored blooms filled every corner of West Center Street. The flowers were, naturally, silk in order to ensure that there wasn’t a single blossom that wilted beneath the brutal Florida sun.

Between the ever blooming bouquets and fashionably attired merchants, the opportunities for photographs were abundant on West Center Street, just ask this little one!

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