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Martinsburg briefs

March 28, 2009

Downtown store closing



MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Laura Gassler, president of the board of Main Street Martinsburg, said she is closing Tuscan Sun, her business at 144 N. Queen St., so she can move forward on other projects.

"It was a very tough decision because of all the ramifications," Gassler said in an e-mail. "People never think twice if a mall or chain store closes, but if a downtown store closes, it is a 'failure,' 'blight,' 'another business that can't make it,' etc., but (my husband) and I had to look toward our long-term goals and make a decision about these goals and how to get there. ... closing the store and working on other projects was the most productive (decision)."

Flowers Unlimited is expected to relocate to the space from its current location at 123 S. Queen St. and open May 1, Gassler said.

The Historic Preservation Review Commission on April 6 is scheduled to consider a request by Mark Jordan of Flowers Unlimited to install a business sign at the new location, according to the commission's agenda for the April meeting.

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Tuscan Sun was an outgrowth of Confetti LLC, which Gassler opened five years ago.

Artist wants to make bottle lid mural



MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Artist David Heatwole's request to install a temporary mural made of nonrecyclable plastic bottle lids in downtown Martinsburg is scheduled to be considered next month by the Historic Preservation Review Commission.

Titled "Put A Lid On It," the composition of bottle caps is proposed to be mounted on four pieces of plywood-like board that, once put together, will be 19 feet high and 9 feet wide, according to Heatwole's application for a certificate of appropriateness from the commission.

The commission is scheduled to consider the application April 6.

Heatwole is proposing to have the artwork, which will depict a self-portrait of Vincent Van Gogh, on display on the side of the Red Brick Gallery at 404 W. King St. until next winter, according to the application.

-- Matthew Umstead

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