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Tuesday September 19, 2017
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End of the Dream

 

continued

The Collinses have sold futons, frames, slipcovers, shoji screens, and Asian-Žinfluenced gifts in their shop on the corner of Ashley and Liberty since 1994. They are closing be-cause, as Doreen frankly tells the constant stream of well-wishers, "We can't pay the bills anymore."

The gracefully modern brick, stone, and glass corner building, owned by developer Phil Conlin, has always been a kind of bellwether of the downtown economy. Originally a Sears tire store, its most memorable incarnation to many Ann Arborites was Crow Quill Graphics, part of a counterculture triangle with the Fleetwood Diner and Mr. Flood's Party (where West End Grill now is). The death of Flood's bouncer Roger Davis, who was shot outside the West Liberty bar in 1975, is commemorated by a stone wall outside Dream On Futon, commissioned by Crow Quill owners Zeke Mallory and John Copley and built by stonemason David Menefee with stones from anyone who wanted to contribute.

The building and the corner seemed to flounder for an identity through the eighties and early nineties. By the time the Collinses opened Dream On, downtown had transitioned to an artisanal boutique, gallery, and restaurant district, and Dream On blended into the new ethos.

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