Created By: Madison Main Street Program
This is Home! As a young married couple who had just moved back to their hometown, Todd and Mary Beth Boone formed The Equestrian Group to buy and develop property in Madison. Their first project was in 1995 when Todd worked with Dr. George Alcorn to purchase and co-develop the Wesbecker family farm that overlooked historic Madison. This 120 acre tract was one of the first settled farms in Indiana and today there are over 40 families that live in River Bluff Estate overlooking the Ohio River and downtown.
The Boone’s then moved back to Louisville and lived there for 7 years forging their careers and starting their family. While they were there they started their venture into renovation and remolding properties in old Louisville. After a period of time, realizing the need for a great community to raise their children, the Boones settled back in Madison to call home.
Their venture into real estate would continue after coming back and building a home in the development they started at River Bluff. But their focus soon went to downtown Madison which they both believed was the hidden gem that kept young families like theirs coming back. Over the years Todd and Mary Beth have renovated over a dozen properties and it has even grown into a profession for Mary Beth to provide home decorating services. Todd is a Director at a fortune 500 company and his passion is working on the older properties when he is not traveling out of town.
Most of the current projects have been in downtown Madison for the couple. One of the boldest was a home on 2nd Street that sat vacant for over 5 years. Todd and his brother Joe bought the home at auction with the support of Nadja and Mary Beth Boone and they turned this once eye sore into a beautiful home. By completely gutting and rebuilding the property, the families have greatly helped with the preservation of Madison and to bring back life to downtown living.
Over the years Mary Beth has continued to work with clients and in 2010 she worked with a neighbor to help design and open a boutique named Blush on Main in downtown. In 2013 the Boone’s purchased the Blush from that neighbor and soon after Mary Beth quit her job and eventually became fulltime proprietor of the business. Shortly after Mary Beth’s eye for fashion had caught on and the business was becoming a staple for downtown and Main Street.
As business continued to grow and more clientele were coming in from Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Louisville, the couple decided to invest further into Madison and look at moving from a rented store front – into a property of their own. They looked at multiple properties, but the home of the former Metzger’s clothing kept bringing them back. The attraction was the “size” it had in a little package. There were 16’ ceilings on two stories and a basement that was just asking to be turned into a show place. This building that was built in 1816, had potential written all over it.
113 West Main Street for many years was home of the Metzger Family clothing store. They lived on the connecting home on Central Ave and had commerce on Main. For the last several years before the store front was purchased by Todd and Mary Beth, it was home to Rock-a-Bye Lady which had been in business in Madison for over 35 years. When their owners decided to retire, the Boone’s began their restoration journey. That started on January 2, 2016 and the goal was to be open by Chautauqua weekend of that year. You will be able to see the great transformation on your tour….
While working on the new building, the couple purchased a local florist, the Ivy Vine and the goal was to move this business in and combine it with both the boutique and salon of the Blush. The Boone’s call it an “eco-system” of businesses that help support and feed off of each other. Just like the old G.C. Murphy’s or Mills Department store that we all grew up on in Madison in the 1950 – 1970’s. Each business is stand alone, but the goal is to bring energy together be combining them. Mary Beth leads all of the businesses that are in the building.
You’ll see 2 floors completed in this journey and as you tour you will be able to see the before and after of these properties. But the next generation request from customers from out of town is to come and stay – as the couple is currently working on the top story of the property. This will be used to host out of town guest and wedding parties that want to come in for consults for the weekend at the floral shop or to get their hair done at the salon for the weekend. This space is just now being completed, but will be the next phase to add to the co-branded model they have developed.
Some of the special historic features on the upper level are helping them design a distinctive apartment. High ceilings and tall windows in the front area visually expand the space. Topping the large double doors that divide the front and middle rooms is a large transom that lets in plenty of natural light. A multi-pane skylight in the back area opens the ceiling to sunshine during the day and starlight at night.
Several architectural elements like these true divided light windows will be worked into the plan. The Boone’s overall strategy for the building is to establish complementary businesses that support one another. The boutique, salon, flower shop and guest suite provide products and services that work together. This is a fresh twist on an old idea. In this same building back in the late 1800s, Arno Schmidt operated a Dry Goods, Notions, Books, and Shoe Store.
In the end, Todd and Mary Beth will both tell you that they approach these projects together with great enthusiasm going in, as they love the old buildings and the old architecture. But these endeavors can wear on the closest of partners. For the most part Todd uses his engineering background to layout the buildings and the mechanicals. Mary Beth does most of the colors and the present-day “flair effect”. Although Todd will also manage the local subs to work on downtown projects to do the complete design – he will admit that he can’t do that final 5 -10% “gift” that his wife brings when they work together. They may fight over colors – but the end product speaks for itself when they are done!
This point of interest is part of the tour: Loft Tour