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M.A.D.E., a “maker space” opens on Delmar

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education For Children Services Shop News  Wiley Price IV Third Degree Glass Factory St. Louis Public Radio Melody Walker Mayor Lyda Krewson Maker Space Magic House M.A.D.E. Jim McKelvey Doug Auer Dennis Lower Cortex Innovation Community

On November 16 entrepreneurs Jim McKelvey and Doug Auer (top photo), along with Cortex’s President and CEO Dennis Lower (bottom photo: middle), hosted a ribbon cutting for M.A.D.E. (Makers, Artists, Designers, Entrepreneurs), a new 33,000 s.f. maker space at 5127 Delmar.

The grand opening marked the one year anniversary since the abrupt closure of all 10 TechShops across the country, including one located in the CWE’s Cortex Innovation District where there were 500 members. As soon as the news broke, McKelvey contacted both Auer, his partner in Third Degree Glass Factory, and Lower and together “we vowed we would be the city that saved our maker space.”

They acquired TechShop’s equipment, purchased the vacant building directly across from the Glass Factory that formerly housed a Vespa dealership, and immediately got to work renovating the space. Amazingly, the total gut rehab project was accomplished in less than one year!

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education For Children Services Shop News  Wiley Price IV Third Degree Glass Factory St. Louis Public Radio Melody Walker Mayor Lyda Krewson Maker Space Magic House M.A.D.E. Jim McKelvey Doug Auer Dennis Lower Cortex Innovation Community

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education For Children Services Shop News  Wiley Price IV Third Degree Glass Factory St. Louis Public Radio Melody Walker Mayor Lyda Krewson Maker Space Magic House M.A.D.E. Jim McKelvey Doug Auer Dennis Lower Cortex Innovation Community

In his welcoming remarks Jim McKelvey, above left, the co-founder of the Square payment device, said the camaraderie and inspiration of makers at TechShop in San Francisco was very important to him when he was developing the Square prototype.

He added that Mayor Lyda Krewson and the City of St. Louis were extremely helpful in facilitating the quick opening of M.A.D.E. “Getting it up and running within a year wouldn’t have been possible without their cooperation. This is Phase 1,” he continued, “Phase 2 will house The Magic House for children on the second floor, which is set to open this summer. (More on this exciting news follows.)

In time, McKelvey, Auer and Lower plan to transform the entire area on and around Delmar into a “maker zone.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education For Children Services Shop News  Wiley Price IV Third Degree Glass Factory St. Louis Public Radio Melody Walker Mayor Lyda Krewson Maker Space Magic House M.A.D.E. Jim McKelvey Doug Auer Dennis Lower Cortex Innovation Community

Mayor Krewson drew a laugh when she recalled a phone call from Doug Auer and Jim McKelvey 15 years ago when she was 28th Ward Alderman: “We’re interested in a vacant building on Delmar…a few people will be blowing glass…” The wildly successful Third Degree Glass Factory opened in 2002 and Krewson said she has learned over time that “Doug can build anything, and Jim can do anything.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education For Children Services Shop News  Wiley Price IV Third Degree Glass Factory St. Louis Public Radio Melody Walker Mayor Lyda Krewson Maker Space Magic House M.A.D.E. Jim McKelvey Doug Auer Dennis Lower Cortex Innovation Community

Beth Fitzgerald, president of Magic House said her board wanted to expand its reach into north city and they contacted Cortex’s Dennis Lower for ideas. When Magic House opens this summer at M.A.D.E., the board’s vision will be realized. This summer is also the 40th anniversary of the opening of Magic House in Kirkwood. Magic House at M.A.D.E., which will offer classes and camps with a focus on STEAM education, is geared toward elementary and middle school children.

In his final remarks McKelvey said, “Come here and play. If you don’t know how to use the equipment, ask us. There are no rules—well,” he laughed, “there is a waiver.”

The photos below show a small sampling of what is available at M.A.D.E.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education For Children Services Shop News  Wiley Price IV Third Degree Glass Factory St. Louis Public Radio Melody Walker Mayor Lyda Krewson Maker Space Magic House M.A.D.E. Jim McKelvey Doug Auer Dennis Lower Cortex Innovation Community

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education For Children Services Shop News  Wiley Price IV Third Degree Glass Factory St. Louis Public Radio Melody Walker Mayor Lyda Krewson Maker Space Magic House M.A.D.E. Jim McKelvey Doug Auer Dennis Lower Cortex Innovation Community

Top photo: Textiles teacher Sheila Lenkman also works part time for The Repertory Theater. She explained that, for beginners, the first step is to sign up to learn how to use the equipment, which includes a long-arm quilter.  There will be classes based on the needs of the community whether that is pattern making, installing zippers, etc.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education For Children Services Shop News  Wiley Price IV Third Degree Glass Factory St. Louis Public Radio Melody Walker Mayor Lyda Krewson Maker Space Magic House M.A.D.E. Jim McKelvey Doug Auer Dennis Lower Cortex Innovation Community

It was fun to see CWEnder Melody Walker in her new role as Economic Development Editor at St. Louis Public Radio. Follow her on Twitter here.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education For Children Services Shop News  Wiley Price IV Third Degree Glass Factory St. Louis Public Radio Melody Walker Mayor Lyda Krewson Maker Space Magic House M.A.D.E. Jim McKelvey Doug Auer Dennis Lower Cortex Innovation Community

Left: Wiley Price IV, newly elected to represent District 84 in the Missouri House of Representatives, and right: Price with Justin Idelburg, left, community leader in Ward 26, and Doug Auer.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education For Children Services Shop News  Wiley Price IV Third Degree Glass Factory St. Louis Public Radio Melody Walker Mayor Lyda Krewson Maker Space Magic House M.A.D.E. Jim McKelvey Doug Auer Dennis Lower Cortex Innovation Community

M.A.D.E., 5127 Delmar, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Membership is $50 per month plus a small hourly fee to use the equipment. For more information, visit the website.

The Biome School adds modular classrooms at Olive & Taylor

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education Services  The Biome School Mackey Mitchell Architects Bill Kent Jr.

The Biome School, a St. Louis City public charter school located in the CWE at 4471 Olive Street, is bursting at the seams and has begun installing modular classrooms on a vacant parcel at the corner of Olive and Taylor to accommodate an expected 220-230 students in academic year 2019.

The school, which opened in August 2015 with 2 Kindergarten and 1 first grade classrooms of 20 students each, has added a grade each year, so that now there are 178 students in grades K to 4.

When completed, the modular classrooms (renderings are shown below) will house 3rd and 4th grade students. They will be joined in August of 2019 by 5th grade students, the final grade in the school’s expansion plans.

According to Founding President and CEO Bill Kent Jr., the temporary classrooms, which are expected to remain in use for up to 7-years, gives them time to develop a long-range master-site plan.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education Services  The Biome School Mackey Mitchell Architects Bill Kent Jr.

The Biome, a STEAM school (science, technology, engineering, math, plus art), is committed to serving all children within the City of St. Louis, especially those in low-income areas who lack educational choices.  Charter schools are tuition-free and receive 75% of their funding from the State of Missouri. The remaining funding comes from private donations. State funds cannot be used for facilities. To learn more about how The Biome School spun off from the Youth Learning Center, an after-school tutoring center that opened in 2003, read my original post here.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education Services  The Biome School Mackey Mitchell Architects Bill Kent Jr.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education Services  The Biome School Mackey Mitchell Architects Bill Kent Jr.

According to Kent, the proposal for the temporary use of modular classrooms as an interim solution to their growing student population was supported by 18th Ward Alderman Terry Kennedy, 28th Ward Alderman Heather Navarro, and the Central West End Association Planning & Development Committee. The permit application was approved by the City’s Cultural Resources Office and Board of Public Service.

Kent said The Biome School strives to be a good neighbor and is committed to not only maintaining but improving the value and aesthetics of their property. They’ve been pleased to share the empty lot at the corner—which they purchased in December, 2015—with the community, which has used it as a dog park until recently, when site preparation activities commenced.

.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education Services  The Biome School Mackey Mitchell Architects Bill Kent Jr.

Neighbors have complained about the long line of traffic in front of the school during pick up and drop off, which Kent said typically lasts for 20 to 25 minutes twice a day. The new modular classroom structures will allow The Biome to operate two drive lanes on the parking lot (see Mackey Mitchell Architects site plan above), which should reduce the number of cars staging on Olive.

Bill Kent’s greatest hope is that neighbors will join The Biome School in its mission of educating children by volunteering, participating in literacy mornings, and other activities. “Relationship building creates opportunities for collaboration and serves as a springboard for effective problem solving before or when issues arise,” he added.

For questions, contact Bill Kent by email: bkent@thebiomeschool.org

CWEnder Carla Dawson’s paintings at Third Degree Glass Factory

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education Events, Sightings  Third Degree Glass Factory Central West End Carla Dawson

Third Fridays of each month Third Degree Glass Factory, 5900 Delmar Blvd., has become a popular entertainment option for people of all ages. It’s a magnet for young families, couples, and groups of friends looking for an interactive experience. You can watch a glass making demonstration, listen to live music, and perhaps take a glass blowing class. There is always a food truck parked out front and on the Friday I visited, June 15, a couple from Ices Plain & Fancy was working their magic creating fabulous nitro-churned ice cream in the front room.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education Events, Sightings  Third Degree Glass Factory Central West End Carla Dawson

Each Third Friday also marks the introduction of a new artist invited to display art in the main room.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education Events, Sightings  Third Degree Glass Factory Central West End Carla Dawson

On the 15th, CWEnder Carla Dawson, June’s “artist of the month,” presented All About Color. She’s photographed in front of her oil paintings It’s All Connected, left and  Maui Sunset, right.

Several years ago Dawson and her husband Denny moved to the Central West End from Chesterfield. She said they wanted a more urban, diverse environment. “Plus, the amenities in the CWE are awesome,” she added. The artist can often be spotted walking with her greyhound Pearl from her condo to her art studio in the neighborhood.

As a single mom Dawson chose a career in the banking industry. In 1992 she left banking and took up art studying at Washington University, and then with local artist and teacher Robert Ketchens before striking out on her own.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education Events, Sightings  Third Degree Glass Factory Central West End Carla Dawson

All About Color is inspired by nature and the artist’s love of travel. Shown from top,  Quiet, middle, Time Lapse, and bottom photo, Pier.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education Events, Sightings  Third Degree Glass Factory Central West End Carla Dawson

Above, An example of the artist’s collage on glass called Metallic Sunrise.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education Events, Sightings  Third Degree Glass Factory Central West End Carla Dawson

Dawson’s After the Rain, 42″ x 34″ oil on linen.

It’s All About Color will remain on view at Third Degree Glass Factory until July 18.  The next Third Friday event is scheduled for July 20. Doors open at 6 p.m., admission is free.

To contact Carla Dawson, or to learn more about her vibrant art, visit her website.