Walls of Wisconsin Rapids landmark flower shop coming down - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Walls of Wisconsin Rapids landmark flower shop coming down

Joy Berg - Property donor Joy Berg - Property donor

WISCONSIN RAPIDS (WAOW) - The walls of a city landmark that sold flowers for more than 100 years came tumbling down Thursday to clear the way for a new Central Wisconsin Cultural Center.

"It is an iconic building," said Barb Garfield, a neighbor to longtime Ebsens Greenhouses Inc., as she watched an era end.

The business started as the Paul C. Beasa Floral Co. in 1916 and two years later Henry Ebsen, a horticulturist who worked there, bought it, putting his name on the storefront. His daughters later took over.

In recent months, the business closed, and Joy Berg, an artist, acquired it with the plan to donate the 1.4-acre site for a new cultural center, said Stephany Hartman, the center's executive director.

"Last winter I drove by and the sign price was a third of what it had been, and the car U-turned all by itself and there I was. So I bought it," said Berg. "And I thought wow, what an addition to downtown it would be if the cultural center could be right here."

Garfield said many families in town are familiar with Ebsens Greenhouse and she recalled days when her grandchild would visit the store to buy a single flower.

Hartman said the cultural center, which recently left its home of 17 years, intends to raise $1.2 million for its new center, with a goal to begin construction in two years.

“Our hope is that Wisconsin Rapids is excited for a new development there,” she said

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