Born: Feb 15 ?
Married: Elizabeth Sullivan
Children: Carl, Natalina, Emmett
Chiefly known for: Pharmacist
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, November 23, 2001
AARCH presents its annual preservation awards to area residents
James Bevilacqua for the Post Office Pharmacy facade restoration in Saranac Lake
The Post Office Pharmacy building in Saranac Lake was built circa 1875 and is one of the oldest in Saranac Lake. It is a simple wood-framed, Mansard-roofed building, which originally had an open porch facing Main Street. It was used for a variety of commercial purposes and has been a pharmacy for most of the 20th century.
In the 1920s, the facade of the building was substantially altered, in order to give it a more modern look. The mansard roof was covered over and the open porch was closed in and surfaced, in part, by Carrara glass tiles. In 1948, the business and building was bought by Carl Bevilacqua, who had just graduated from Pharmacy School in Albany. Carl ran the business until his recent death and the business is now run by his son, Jim.
Between 1999 and 2000, Jim undertook a major facade restoration of the building. Using information gleaned from historical photographs, the Mansard roof was uncovered and restored and the front porch was reconstructed in a manner suitable for this late 19th century building.
It is ironic that when the National Register historic district was created, the Old Post Office Pharmacy was considered a "non-contributing structure" and was not included in the nomination.
Now that the building has been restored, perhaps it is time to revisit this and to recognize it as another important component of the district. The Post Office Pharmacy is now a shining example of how restored commercial buildings can be such vital and contributing components of successful downtowns.