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Preservation payoff: Restaurant owner earns Orchid Award for restoring historic home

Reprinted from the Coeur d'Alene Press, May 6, 2010
By Brian Walker

(SHAWN GUST/Press) Tina-Marie Schultz, proprietress of Rosa's Italian Market and Deli, tells the story of how she found the original glass for the pass-through that now holds family photos in her Post Falls business. Schultz restored the 100-year-old home before opening her deli which has earned her the Orchid Award for Heritage Stewardship.

POST FALLS - When Tina-Marie Schultz first saw the 1910 home for sale at Fourth and Frederick across from City Hall, she almost turned away.

"The paint was peeling, no lawn, dead trees ... it was in pretty bad shape," she recalls.

But she's glad she went inside.

She knew she couldn't pass on the historic gem, especially with most of the original woodwork still intact.

After Schultz bought the Samuel and Ann Young home, the only Post Falls home on the National Register of Historic Places, she, husband John and son Raymond went to work in March 2009 restoring the place inside and out before Rosa's Italian Market and Deli opened just two months later.

The project will be recognized by the Idaho Historic Preservation Council in Boise on May 8 with an Orchid Award for Heritage Stewardship.

"I am honored to accept this award not just for myself, but as a citizen of Post Falls," Schultz said. "We do have a nice piece of history here."

Samuel Young was on the school board, a farmer and owned a hotel in town. It was later owned by Kate Reynolds, the town's postmaster.

Both families kept immaculate gardens and flower beds, a tradition Schultz has revived by growing herbs for her restaurant, tulips and other plants. She plans to construct a patio out of torn-up concrete sidewalk and planted a sunk-in garden out of the root cellar she uncovered.

Inside the two-story, 1,980-square-foot home, six layers of flooring were removed to get to the original hardwood floor.

Schultz said she has spent about $40,000 on the restoration project.

"I'm a history buff," she said. "I'm really into protecting the treasures we have. You have to preserve the past for the future."

Members of families who have lived in the house have stopped by, offered memories and artifacts for Schultz to carry on.

"The family of Kate Reynolds said she always baked an apple pie on Sunday, so I always have an apple pie for sale at the store," she said. "One of the granddaughters is going to try to get me a start from the Christmas cactus that sat at the top of the stairs."

Kim Brown, a local historian who nominated Schultz, said the Orchid Award is prestigious and the restoration is well-deserving of it.

"For Post Falls, maintenance of this site is important as to how we maintain and identify the historic potential of Fourth Avenue and Spokane Street," Brown said. "Tina's many efforts continue, and have raised the bar for other property owners to model as Post Falls works to preserve, identify and maintain their historic sites.

"In one year's time, she has contributed to the maintenance of our historic resources, and has modeled how we can preserve them."