Wendy Lynch (left), operator of Mercantile Hall, and her co-founder Stephanie Heft have hosted weddings and other events since the venue opened in late spring last year. (Photo by Jason Arndt)

Burned out building to see new life as ‘Urb Garden’

By Jason Arndt

Staff Writer

Less than a month after clearing a final hurdle, Wendy Lynch and Stephanie Heft are ready to revitalize a downtown parcel of land, where a former furniture store once stood.

Lynch, the operator of Mercantile Hall at 425 Pine St., along with her co-founder, Heft, plan to demolish the adjacent building – which, like Mercantile Hall, is owned by Shad Branen – and turn the parcel into a courtyard with materials preserved from the historic structure.

“We plan to move quickly. It had to go through all of the hurdles, so we just completed that process,” Lynch said. “We are happy to be on the other side of it.”

According to Heft, the contractor will repurpose some of the brick exterior, notably the 1895 sign and incorporate them into the outdoor courtyard they will call an “Urb Garden.”


Pieces of the former Schuette Daniels furniture store, which was damaged in a five-alarm blaze, will be used to convert the parcel of land into a courtyard for Mercantile Hall. (Photo by Jason Arndt)

She said the bricks will support an iron gate.

The Urb Garden, Lynch said, comes from Mercantile Hall’s slogan.

“Our tagline for Mercantile Hall is ‘urban feel, small town love,’ and so urban will be continued for that space,” she said.

The outdoor space, meanwhile, was an idea presented to Lynch and Heft from customers who have used Mercantile Hall for weddings.

The wedding patrons, Lynch said, saw a need for the outdoor area.

“It was always a need because we heard from couples that they wanted an outdoor space,” Lynch said. “We had originally discussed keeping part of that facade of the building.”

  To read the full story, see the Sept. 6 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.