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An American Place closing its doors in Greensburg

| Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review
Barbara DeCaro, owner of An American Place gift shop and jewelry store in Greensburg, is closing after about 25 years. The store will close at the end of December.
Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review
Items on display at An American Place gift shop and jewelry store in Greensburg. The store will close at the end of December.

Rachel Byers, who has been buying home decor items and jewelry at An American Place in Greensburg for 20 years, will miss the business when it closes at the end of the year.

“I've bought jewelry, home items ... I've used her stores for ideas as to how to decorate my own home,” said Byers. “I will deeply miss An American Place but have things to remind me all through my home.”

Barbara DeCaro opened An American Place at 101 E. Pittsburgh St. 25 years ago, selling mostly items with a Southwest theme.

Today, the store sells home accessories, pottery, candles, candle holders, gift items, handmade jewelry and a Pandora jewelry line.

But DeCaro, who managed a wallpaper store in the city before opening An American Place, has decided to close the doors for the last time.

“I'm retiring. After 25 years, I thought it was a good milestone,” said DeCaro, who has managed the store herself all these years. “My husband is retired. I have no big plans yet, probably some volunteer work.”

She is selling all jewelry at 35 percent off. The rest of the stock is also discounted.

Cricket Rizzo of Greensburg stumbled upon An American Place eight years ago and fell in love with the assortment of unique items DeCaro offers. But that was not the only reason she kept coming back to DeCaro's store.

“It's her warmth of personality and creativity, and I also like to support small businesses,” said Rizzo. “I'm happy she's retiring but I will miss talking with her and the unique quality of gifts she has. She has little treasures that you just can't find anywhere else.”

Rizzo's favorites range from DeCaro's wreaths to her blessing bowls, but the Pandora collector admits those items have been her most frequent purchase.

“She is so wonderful at designing charms that go together,” she said. “She's helped me design several bracelets.”

DeCaro got the name for An American Place after Georgia O'Keefe, her favorite artist.

O'Keefe's husband had a gallery in New York named An American Place so DeCaro decided to use the name. (“From 1923 until his death in 1946, the artist's husband, Alfred) Stieglitz, worked assiduously and effectively to promote O'Keeffe and her work, organizing annual exhibitions of her art at The Anderson Galleries (1923–1925), The Intimate Gallery (1925–1929) and An American Place (1929–1946),” according to the Georgia O'Keefe Museum website.

Although DeCaro said she is excited to embark upon this next chapter in her life, she said she will miss the store and its clientele.

“I've met so many wonderful people,” she said.

Michele Stewardson is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.