You can’t really see inside Lovelace Drugs.
There’s brown butcher paper and large photos covering the big, plate-glass windows that line the front of the popular drugstore in downtown Ocean Springs.
So a lot of people have been walking up to Joey Krystosek’s office to ask, “What’s going on?”
The inside is undergoing a major overhaul and upgrade.
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And Krystosek said when they replace the front display glass, he plans to put up copies of the building plans and a timeline of what will happen when, so people will know.
“My office is upstairs and not a day goes by that people don’t stop and ask me,” he said.
Architects pulled a permit for the interior renovation very recently, city building officials said.
The Lovelace building went up in 1926, so it’s been a landmark in the city for almost a century. The pharmacy portion closed in 2014 when CVS bought Fred’s Pharmacy chain, which had been operating there under the Lovelace store name. It stayed open as a Fred’s without the pharmacy until November last year.
The store will open again in the summer of 2018 and be locally owned. Clark Levi, who owns the building and is a pharmacist, will have a hand in it, but Krystosek will be the manager.
Work started just a few weeks ago, at the end of November. It looks barren in there now, but all the familiar features will return.
When they are done, it will again have a soda fountain, a Lovelace pharmacy and the respiratory therapy and medical equipment division.
There’s an older population in downtown that has come to rely on a pharmacist within walking distance. There is also the The Gardens Pharmacy and Compounding on Government Street, near Washington Avenue.
The one in Lovelace was and has been, however, a more traditional venue on the ground floor.
“We’re a small town pharmacy,” Krystosek said. “When people come in, they get called by their names and that makes a difference.”
Meanwhile, enjoy the art
While the work is going on inside, the windows are being used to display poster-sized art photos of Ocean Springs in celebration of its part in the state’s 200 years.
Well-known faces and names from the city are displayed in poignant, life-size photos, with thoughts or excerpts from their stories.
Henry Furr, architect and builder, under a beautiful photo of a lane, wrote: “I was born after Hurricane Camille, so growing up, stories were always about people I knew but places I couldn’t see. They were only in people’s hearts.”
Mary Anderson Pickard, artist and writer, is the oldest of Walter Anderson’s (WAMA) children. She’s with a photo of the Oldfields plantation home in Gautier, where her mother and father lived and painted for awhile.
“So few antebellum houses are left on our storm-scoured coast. Surely Oldfields won’t be let go with the rest,” she writes.
Young business owners Kait Sukiennik and Jessie Zener are quoted saying about the Greenhouse on Porter: “We’re just sort of a haven for all things lost and all things beautiful, while still being a great space for community to be together.”
Jocelyn Mayfield used to own the popular Jocelyn’s restaurant on U.S. 90. Under her portrait, she writes: “I’m eighty-five years old and now it’s getting harder. But I still love it. I think I cook everyday.”