We're happy for Washington Avenue's success and everything, and we hope merchants continue to flock to the street. But why should we give this award to some coattail-riding latecomer when, really, the best addition to Washington Avenue arrived when Dwight and Rosemarie Reum (pronounced reem
) opened the Mossa Center in 1984? It was the Reums who first saw Washington Avenue and decided to invest, selling high-design furniture imported from Europe, stuff that until then could only be found five hours away in Chicago. When Dwight Reum passed away in 1996, Rosemarie kept the fire burning, and the Mossa Center continues to be a destination for moneyed aesthetes looking for great design. Other high-end furniture stores have joined the Mossa Center downtown in the past few years, but without the Reums' frontier spirit, downtown wouldn't have progressed as it has.