While activity has slowed down on the programming side of things here at Rebuild in St. Louis, progress on construction at 1415 Mallinckrodt and 3619 Blair is moving steadily along.
We now have gutters and downspouts on 1415 that will not only help protect the building, but will make harvesting rainwater much easier once we get the appropriate containers. Thanks to Mike from Rocco Construction for this work.
Fred and his crew tuckpointed the entire west wall of the building as well, installing a new steel lintel and repairing the formerly leaning parapet. This is the area that was, up until several years ago, covered and protected by a neighboring building. Once exposed to the elements, it began to deteriorate quicker than normal, but now is stabilized and ready to be a backdrop for hopefully many exciting events and installations in the 1417 vacant lot.
Probably the most exciting thing at 1415 though, is the installation of our fancy new aluminum and glass garage door, specified by the design students in the Washington University CityStudioSTL program this summer. The door had a longer lead time, and so could not be installed during the three week program itself, but was installed without a hitch thanks to some smart planning on their part. The intention with this design is really the crux of the overall re-orientation of the building, giving it a sleek(ish) new facade that addresses the large expanse of vacant lots on the other side of the alley, as well as Salisbury Street, which is the main commercial corridor in Hyde Park. The glass door allows for the fiberglass “hurricane” door to be parked in the awning position when 1415 is occupied, but remains hidden behind fiberglass when no one is at the building. Sort of an open sign for when there is activity in the building. Additionally, when the back room is used as a performance space, the door can be lifted out of the way as a sort of curtain.
Meanwhile, over at 3619 Blair, Mac has been slowly plugging away at the electrical work, Fred has opened up the connecting masonry wall with a nice chunk of steel, and much termite damaged has been remediated.
Most exciting, though, was the work done by artist & craftsman Andy Colley, who runs Colley Furniture Studio in Omaha, NE. Earlier this year, Theaster commissioned Andy to create a large, custom community dining table and bench for 3619 (images coming soon!). Upon delivering this, Andy and his colleague Rob spent a couple days creating some custom built-ins for the kitchen and dining area.
One of these pieces is a long bench made from a giant timber, which Andy sourced from American Timber Salvage. To make the bench, the approximately 800 lb. timber was simply propped up on three delicate dowel legs.
Additionally, Andy and Rob created some open shelving and a mantel, almost entirely with dry-fit joints, hanging from the joists above where the kitchen will eventually be installed.
Still lots and lots of work to be done, but they are finally starting to feel like real buildings that will be able to house lots of exciting programs and people in the years to come!