"Yesterday I saw, for the first time, what they did to the former Gloria Flower Shop. I can't tell you how sickened I am at how they destroyed it's pristine, original 1930's/40's streamline-modern interior."
I couldn't agree with Thomas more. I had noticed the transformation of the former Gloria Flower Shoppe at 308 Court Street myself late last week. The new tenant, Champion's Martial Arts, which also operates several other locations in and around the Metropolitan area, has gut renovated the entire space in the past month.
Like Thomas, I felt deeply saddened when I saw that the flower shop's wonderful green and white tile display window has now been removed and the terrazzo entrance that featured the words "Gloria" has been covered in some type of quick set cement. One can be thankful that the martial arts studio kept the rounded store window.
Gloria Flower Shoppe opened at this location in the 1940s. When Gloria, the original owner, passed away, her son Sal took over. The store closed for good in late 2013.
By 2014, it was taken over by "Bizio & Soci", an expensive Italian clothing store. The boutique, however, kept the wonderful original tile work. Bizio closed this past September.
Of course, the new tenant, Champion, is under no obligation to retain details of the storefront's past, especially since that section of Court Street is not landmarked, but it would have been a wonderful nod to what was here before.
No doubt, Champion, which seems to cater to children, will do well in this kid-friendly neighborhood, but as I walk by, I will always be reminded of Gloria's wonderfully old-fashioned flower shop.