Collected Works bookstore to close for renovations

Jaime Gonzales secures a piece of tape that connects old carpet to the newly exposed concrete floor during renovations at Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse on Tuesday. Gabriela Campos/The New Mexican

The bookstore section of Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse will be closed March 18-22 to install new carpeting in the final week of a seven-week renovation.

The coffee house will remain open, Collected Works owner Dorothy Massey said.

This week is seeing the completion of a new bathroom that replaced the original cast-iron plumbing from when the structure was built as the El Fidel Hotel in 1923, said Alex Tschursin, who owns the Collected Works space.

The new bathroom will have new pipes and fixtures and will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, he said. The brick floor in the cash register area at the Galisteo Street entrance was removed in early February until the first week of March to rebuild the foundation, parts of which may have dated from the 1800s, he said.

The floor had sagged about 3½ inches when work started. The foundation was a combination of wood from a prior structure and concrete, Tschursin said.

“Over a period of time, the wooden beams began to give in, which cause the concrete slab to begin to dip,” Tschursin said.

Tschursin said the store will replace old carpeting, plus get new paint in places.

“It will brighten up the place,” Massey said. “I think the store will be more attractive.”

All the books will be removed from the backroom for the carpet installation and will be brought back March 22 with a planned reopening March 23, Massey said.

Massey has owned Collected Works since 1996 and moved the bookstore and cafe to its current location in 2009. The store was established in 1976.