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Century-old Niagara Falls florist to close

After 100 years, an iconic Niagara Falls flower shop will close its doors. It was known for its ornate and changing window displays.

Harris & Lever Florists will conduct its last day of business June 30. The business will continue to fill orders until then. It will also handle a couple of pre-booked weddings through August.

The shop was founded in 1916 by Austin Morse Lever, who died in 1980. The late Russell Murgia bought the company in 1988. He sold it to his son and daughter-in-law, Chris and Maggie Murgia, in 2005, Maggie started working at the shop 25 years ago. Chris is an administrator at Harry F. Abate Elementary School in Niagara Falls.

Sales at Harris & Lever began suffering around the year 2000, the owners said. Things worsened amid the recession and increasing pressure from chain stores and the internet. It had recently diversified its inventory to include jewelry, art and women’s clothing.

The shop is located at 1225 Main St. It’s conducting a going-out-of business sale, selling vases, displays, decorations, office equipment and everything else in the store. The 6,000-square-foot building is up for sale as well, listed at $149,900.

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