By MARK EVANS
What started out as another restoration of a historic Ste. Genevieve building may lead to a major business opportunity.
When Dr. Patrick Fahey and Dr. Susan O’Donnell purchased the old Kisco Boiler factory building at Front and Market Streets in the summer of 2021, the idea was to save and restore a century-old brick structure that would contribute to the town’s unique collection of historic structures.
They had already bought and restored the Main Street Inn (builtin 1881), following their 2016 marriage and O’Donnell and her late first husband Jack had a long history of restoring historic buildings.
Mother Nature intervened the night of Oct. 24, however, setting a whole new aspect to the venture.
“When we purchased this building six months ago, the thought was we would continue our interest in saving and restoring buildings in downtown Ste. Genevieve,” Fahey said.
Not many brick factory buildings live to see a second century of use. O’Donnell and Fahey could see the potential in the building, its original section dating back to 1903.
“When we bought it, we saw it as a real potential asset to Ste. Genevieve, but we didn’t know exactly what we were going to do with it,” Fahey said.
The events of Oct. 24 changed that with the total destruction of the St. Mary Antique Mall, the largest antique mall in the state of Missouri, by a devastating EF-4 tornado.
Several of the vendors from St. Mary needed a place to store their goods while they considered their options. Fahey and O’Donnell made the building available to them for this. When moving items, in, however, a number of the vendors mentioned to Fahey that the space would be ideal for an antique mall.
And so it shall be.
Fahey and O’Donnell hope to open a large antique mall in the building in June.