Photos by Brian Addison. Full gallery below.

At first, the pairing seems odd: a nursery and an antique mall. But when walking around the massive space that is Urban Americana, it strangely makes sense: pop in, buy your restored mid-mod couch, and check out some drought-resistant, local succulents while you’re at it.

Good for your home, good for your garden.

UA02Urban Americana naturally exudes that Long Beach feeling: owner Chris Geer took over the space off of Coronado in the Zaferia Design District after the famed Flynn Signs—one of Long Beach’s longest-running businesses—vacated the space when it was sold. He then thought about every aspect of its repurposing.

Officially owning the spot as of September of last year, Geer spent five months gutting and rehabbing the space. Dropping walls, getting rid of ceilings, and adding a ton of skylights, Geer has made an ADA-accessible antique mall that offers 50 lease spaces to vendors hailing from Santa Barbara to San Diego.

“We wanted to create an urban space that harkens to antiques—just a little different with wider aisles, higher ceilings, and skylights,” Geer said. “The skylights pretty much make it so that we don’t have a single light on in here. It’s urban but it’s welcoming.”

Geer’s conscientiousness towards sustainability spills onto the outskirts of his property as well: the strips of land on the east and south side of the warehouse he felt were “being wasted.” What does one use with waste? Repurpose it—and in the case of Geer, repurpose it into a sustainable nursery filled with drought-resistant plants.

“I think there is a need for [sustainable gardening]—especially in Long Beach,” Geer said. “I’ve been involved in the antiques and interiors business privately for fifteen years but this allows me to get my feet wet in exploring how people use the outsides of their homes as well.”


The array of California native plants are surrounded by a beautifully wooden fence of reclaimed wood that Geer scored from a 120-year-old barn he purchased in Nebraska via one of his sellers who specializes in reclaimed wood. Soon, the northern wall will be host to barrels that will catch rainfall to help water the nursery without drawing from the hose.

“Nothing should go to waste,” Geer said. “And I think people are going to look at the plants sitting outside, wander inside, and like what they see.”

Urban Americana has it all: from early 1900s photographs to apothecary remnants, taxidermy art to Victorian sconces, space after space showcases the individual style of the vendor. In fact, Geer admits that he doesn’t particularly screen anyone—“Variety is always key,” he noted—in order to have a diverse collection of everything from mid-mod masterpieces to industrialized contemporary furniture.

UA15Like any dedicated Long Beacher, Geer also loves the idea of versatility with a space: functioning on a multitude of levels creates a sense of community—meaning Geer wants people to hangout. He plans on doing that by creating a bar that will serve coffee by day—he is in talks with Rose Parks Roaster, the local craft coffee masters who deliver by bike—and a cocktail hour at night for events. Geer even offered one particular vendor from Huntington Beach who specializes in recreating mid-mod furniture to turn the front part of his store into a lounge: guests can sit, overlook the nursery, and flip through interior design books and magazines to gather ideas.

“We’re not done yet,” Geer said. “We want functions at night. We want people to hangout. We want people to get ideas to discover what works with what.”

Urban Americana’s Grand Opening party is this weekend, June 7th and 8th, from 10AM to 6PM. The space is located at 1345 Coronado Avenue.


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