CRESTVIEW The place where generations of local families bought jewelry is again a Main Street jewel itself following an extensive, top-to-bottom renovation.


CRESTVIEW The place where generations of local families bought jewelry is again a Main Street jewel itself following an extensive, top-to-bottom renovation.



The old Coleman's Jewelry shop, built in 1947 as one of two commercial properties that flank the Fox Theatre, looked a bit seedy when financial adviser Paul Lowrey purchased it two years ago.



Floors were uneven, the roof's gradual slope to the rear gave minimal headroom, and the walls had so many different materials and textures that Lowrey needed "four coats of mud to smooth it out."



As he undertook refurbishment, Lowrey said he was mindful of the building's heritage and the memories it holds for local families.



"This is where all the people in town came to buy their promise rings and class rings and wedding rings," he said.



Lowrey, sometimes with his family's assistance, performed the renovation himself, including plumbing, electrical and heating and air conditioning.





"We just gutted it and started over," Lowrey said. "It was fun and the kind of stuff I enjoy doing, though I kind of neglected my family for 16 months."



Lowrey tried to recycle as much of the original materials as possible. Pine wainscoting lining the walls came from the original ceiling, which was redone in cypress milled in Santa Rosa County.



Mahogany windowsills facing Main Street were made from planks that comprised the original jewelry case counters. The window looking from the lobby into Lowrey's office is glass from one of the cases.



While Lowrey hoped for a textured concrete floor, irregular drafts caused the concrete to set up at different times, resulting in "four huge cracks," so he carpeted over the floor.



Lowrey said his acquisition of the building was meant to be, having discovered his family was distantly related to the Colemans. His wife's sister-in-law's great aunt and uncle were the jewelers.



"Her mom ... used to come visit them in the summer, so it's kind of back in the family," Lowrey said.



Email News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes, follow him on Twitter or call 850-682-6524.