Kirlin’s building ends vacancy as Codex Books relocates

QUINCY (WGEM) – A local bookstore is bringing business back to a building in Quincy that has been vacant for five years.

The old Kirlin building on the corner of 6th and Maine Streets is now filled with Codex Books.

The original bookstore was located at 3734 Broadway in Quincy.

Workers are putting the finishing touches on the new location for Codex Books at 532 Maine Street in downtown Quincy.

The store’s relocation brings back to life the former Kirlin’s iconic building, which was once an iconic amenity in the downtown business district.

Jennifer Tournear, general manager of Codex Books, said she had always been excited about the building’s historic setting, but the added space of the new bookstore made her even more excited to work there.

“I keep hearing really good things about this building and then like when Fresges was here, they liked their food service and different things, so the building has a lot of history and the building is big, so To be able to talk to some of the other people here and everything,” Tournear said, “it’s been a really, really cool experience for all of us.”

Bruce Guthrie, president and CEO of the Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce, said he was pleased to finally see the retailer back in the building.

When the store in downtown Kirlin closed in 2017, Guthrie said there were concerns about what losing a landmark like Kirlin would mean for the city.

That concern came to fruition when the building sat vacant for more than five years.

“When a business leaves a building, especially a large building, and leaves a large footprint, such as the Kirlin Building, a larger building downtown, there are concerns,” Guthrie said. “There are concerns about larger buildings all over Quincy, but we’re seeing them fill up.”

Guthrie hopes the new activity at the Kirlin Building will spark more retail development in the neighborhood.

The new location for Codex books is now open to the public.

They’re still sorting and unpacking, but Tournear said the goal is to have all inventory set up by the end of the week.

She said the store is no longer selling tea or snacks.

Kirlin’s Building first opened as an Andean confectionary in 1948.

After that store began selling greeting cards and gifts, it became Kirlin’s Hallmark, the largest independent distributor in the United States at the time.

There is currently a Kirlin’s store in Quincy in Quincy Town Center.

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