Preservation Station and Event Center is growing this year with a big outdoor expansion planned for its Market Days on the 10 acres around the building.
Back in 2012, Deborah Coomes and her daughter, Jennifer Coomes Higdon, bought the old West Louisville Elementary School with plans to “bring a little bit of the atmosphere of Round Top, Texas, to our little corner of Kentucky,” Higdon says.
Round Top, population 90, is known for its large antique shows.
Coomes and Higdon named their business Preservation Station.
It’s filled with hundreds of antique, vintage, shabby chic and boutique items and a 100-seat restaurant in the former cafeteria in the basement.
Today, the 40,000-square-foot building has 40,000 Facebook fans across the country, Higdon said.
In 2013, the mother-daughter team added Market Days several times a year in the former school gym.
“During Market Days, over 100 additional vendors arrive on site to sell their items, live music plays in the background and between 2,000 and 3,000 customers enjoy a delicious country cooking food buffet in the restaurant and shop till they drop,” Higdon said.
“In the past, Market Days has been a huge success, but we are taking steps to make it even better,” she said.
To make sure the items being sold are quality pieces, Higdon said, they’re going to start requiring vendors to submit pictures of the items in advance.
Vendors can go online to VisitPresevationStation.com and click on “Market Shows” to apply, she said.
Higdon said she and her mother will “dramatically increase” their advertising budget, showcase all the vendors on social media and expand outdoors this summer.
Big white tents will be set up for about 50 extra vendors.
“An outdoor market has always been our goal,” she said. “We’ve had people come from Columbus, Ohio; Wisconsin and all over the United States. Our prices are much lower than in some parts of the country.”
Higdon said, “One man from Canada comes down twice a year. We have 4,000 visitors a month. People like that it’s in a repurposed school.”
She said, “We’re putting in a new sound system and will be playing music soon. We’re painting the gym so it doesn’t look like an old school gym when there are weddings. We’ve probably had 40 weddings through the years.”
Higdon said, “We had hoped and prayed that we would be this successful. We’ve been very blessed.”
This year will see seven Market Days.
The Winter Market Faire is Feb. 1-2.
Spring Market Faire is March 7-8.
Summer Vintage and Antique Market Faire is June 6-7.
Back to School Boutique Show is Aug. 1-2.
Fall Market Faire is Sept. 5-6.
Holiday Market Faire is Nov. 7-8.
And the Christmas Gift Show is Dec. 5-6.
People with questions can call 270-993-7532.
Preservation Station is at 9661 Kentucky 56. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.