PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. — If you're looking for a harpsichord, an Italian-made chandelier or an intricate bar to store your spirits, you’ll find these hidden treasures at the Mission Road Antique Mall.
“We have lots and lots of doo-dads,” Carol Jean Barta, a dealer at the antique mall said.
Barta is a mainstay at the Corinth Square South store. She first read about it in the paper the night before they opened in September 1994.
“I get in my car in my pajamas to see where it is and I'm just undone over it, I think 'I want to be there, I want to be there’” Barta said.
The next morning she showed up to snag the first booth and has been dealer #33 ever since.
But last week Barta was the among 300 dealers who learned that come December 31, the 50,000 square foot mall will be no more.
“We've been owned for about five different landlords and everybody has had a plan to come in and take it down and you know redevelop it,” Casey Ward, owner and manager of the mall said.
Ward, whose managed the store since 1998 and owned it since 2005, said this time it's for good.
“Everybody wants it to go on and I'd move heaven and earth to try and make that happen but I just can’t,” Ward said.
The current landlord of the antique mall, First Washington Realty, has expressed in the past that it plans to bulldoze the former horse barn that once housed 1938 Kentucky Derby winner, Larwin.
Ward has spent the last year searching for a new home. The Ranch Mart, down the road came in as a strong contender.
“That's probably going to cost about a million dollars,” Ward said.
While the future is uncertain, these dealers remain optimistic.
“We're all very ambitious dealers and I think that all of us working together we'll probably figure something out,” Meg Gilmore, another dealer and director of consignment said.
“If you're out there with a big building, let us know,” Barta said.
Despite the fact that they're closing in five months, Ward said she has a waiting list of folks who still are looking for a booth.