This past weekend, a grand opening ceremony was held for Brick & Beam, an event space that will bring new life to the historic building at 1st and Main in Springfield.
The building began its life around the turn of the 20th century as a location for J. Daniel Boone & Co., a local drugstore chain that also manufactured and sold soda fountain machines.
The two-story structure was among the earliest of the commercial buildings that soon came to dominate the Main Street corridor. The drugstore operated for several years on the ground floor, while the top floor was utilized as living space.
Unfortunately, like much of Springfield’s commercial district, it began to struggle as Jacksonville’s other suburbs developed and Springfield itself entered a steady decline. Once the Boone drugstore was gone, the building struggled to find a new purpose.
After lengthy vacancies and multiple false-starts on redevelopment, the historic property was given new life in the mid-2000s. The building was purchased in 2003 and in 2004, Club TSI Discotheque opened its doors at 1101 N. Main Street.
TSI would last less than a year in its Springfield location before moving downtown – but it inspired the launch of another nightclub shortly thereafter.
Local entrepreneur Christy Frazier – the mind behind Birdies in Five Points and the ongoing Phoenix Arts District project – bought the building in 2005 and opened The Pearl.
The Pearl quickly became one of Jacksonville’s hottest night-life spots as well as a source of pride for the Springfield community. It lasted seven years at 1st and Main before shutting its doors in 2012.
With The Pearl gone, 1st and Main was back to its pattern of vacancy and false hope.
Will Kaiser purchased the property with hopes to turn it into a yoga studio and juice bar in 2014, but those plans fell through due to funding issues. Alyssa Key purchased the building soon after, planning to renovate the building for a new restaurant concept. But by mid-2018, Key had decided to put the building up for sale.
In 2017, artist Grant Thornton was commissioned by Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council to paint a distinctive “Welcome to Springfield” mural on the side of the building, using money raised from the council’s PorchFest event.
Luckily, the available property turned out to be the perfect opportunity for Amy and Josh Smith. The couple had been seeking out office space for Josh’s company, Smith Brothers Plastering Company. They purchased the building from Key in August 2018 with plans to turn its top floor into office space for the company, with the bottom to serve as event space.
In June 2019, the new event venue, named Brick & Beam, officially opened, with a grand opening ceremony inviting neighbors to take a look at the space. The venue can be booked for private events such as parties and weddings.
Smith Brothers, meanwhile, will operate from its cozy new open-concept office space on the top floor.
After nearly 120 years, the 1st and Main building