One of the last independent newsstands in Chicago is getting a new life after it was demolished by a car.
Owner Beatrice Flowers said the newsstand, located at the corner of East 58th Street and South Indiana Avenue, in the city’s Washington Park neighborhood, has been in her family for more than 30 years.
Flowers was inside the newsstand when it was struck by a vehicle last week. She said she was pinned under debris and had to be pulled out of the structure.
“Not even any employees out of 30 years, nobody got injured, and this is the first time,” Flowers said.
Flowers said she had surgery several days before and required medical attention as a result of the incident.
Newsstand customer Michael Owens, a contractor and owner of Smart Moves, offered to help build Flowers a new structure.
“I told her I can’t afford to purchase the material, but if I can get someone to help, then I will put the labor in myself and build it with one or two of my guys,” Owens said.
Word got out about the project, and soon after, Owens and fellow contractor Melvin Henley of PAC Leaders received donations to put toward building supplies.
Construction on the newsstand started Thursday.
“I always look for ways to give back, especially when it’s in the neighborhood that I grew up in,” Henley said.
Flowers said she hopes to start selling newspapers out of the stand as early as Sunday.
“For them to just step up and do this today and yesterday, it’s a lot,” Flowers said. "I thought it was nothing but love. It just was so emotional for me."