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Top 10 Columbus Cultural Institutions of 2021

By Columbus Underground - December 15, 2021

400 West Rich, #7 on the list of the Top 10 Arts & Culture Institutions in Columbus of 2021

Each year, our readers pick and choose their favorite arts destinations to take in the culture that the city has to ofter. While art galleries and art festivals have their own special place in our hearts (and separate lists for their rankings), the following institutions are more often viewed as permanent places for artistic viewing — including museums, theaters and event spaces.

This year, our readers once again chose the Columbus Museum of Art as the number one destination in the city. After the 2015 renovation and expansion project was completed, the CMA has often taken the top spot on our list with its excellent permanent collection and outstanding temporary exhibitions. Most recently, 2021 is closing out with a Van Gogh exhibit that features original works by the artist in addition to some of the unique works that inspired him.

Winner: 2020 Rhody Award - For Historic Preservation

Preserve Rhode Island and RI Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission

Pawtucket Projects Win Big At Rhody Awards For Historic Preservation

Providence, R.I. - November 16, 2020

PROVIDENCE — Three outstanding Pawtucket projects were recognized at the Rhody Awards for Historic Preservation, held at the Rhode Island State House in Providence. Preserve Rhode Island (PRI) and the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission (RIHPHC) broadcast the presentation on Capitol TV. The annual Rhody Awards honor individuals, organizations, and projects for their contributions to the preservation of Rhode Island’s historic places.

It took $40 million and 15 years to transform a massive turn-of-the-century textile plant built for the Hope Webbing Company into a mixed-use destination now known as Hope Artiste Village. Using Federal and State preservation tax credits, Urban Smart Growth carried out a multiphase rehabilitation that began on the Main Street side with the creation of art studios, professional offices, commercial spaces, night clubs, restaurants, and light industrial units and the restoration of the historic Breaktime bowling alley. The dynamic mix of tenants attracted an exciting attraction—the weekly Farm Fresh RI’s Winter Farmers Market—and provided the momentum for installing 149 residential loft-style apartments in the five-story mill on the Esten Street side.

For more information about the Rhody Awards for Historic Preservation, please visit PreserveRI.org/Rhody-Awards

ULI Columbus - Awards for Excellence Winners Announced Excellence in Development—Small Scale: 400 West Rich

By rebeccanikolaus - September 10, 2017

Columbus is in the midst of a transformation.

In what’s become the fastest-growing Midwest city, billions of dollars are being invested in infrastructure, housing, offices and storefronts – much of it in the urban core.

With the pace of development frenzied, it’s worth pausing to take stock: to recognize those who shaped Columbus into what it is today and those who are carrying on the legacy of community investment. And to applaud the finest examples of responsible land use.

It’s in that spirit ULI Columbus introduces the Awards for Excellence, recognizing the individuals, real estate companies and developments shaping central Ohio.

The inaugural program honors one man, John W. Galbreath, perhaps most responsible for the look of Columbus as it is today. The late real estate mogul’s vast portfolio of projects included the downtown campus of Nationwide Insurance and the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

Excellence in Development—Small Scale: 400 West Rich

An early success in the up-and-coming Franklinton neighborhood, 400 West Rich is a prime example of urban adaptive reuse. Urban Smart Growth turned the once vacant and crumbling industrial building into a thriving community of art studios, offices, a bar and restaurant and event space.

A Glimpse Inside 400 West Rich

By Chris Gaitten - May 2, 2018

A former factory now filled with artists, entrepreneurs, educators and a wealth of creative talent is injecting life and curiosity into the transformational Franklinton neighborhood.

It’s a rainy Wednesday afternoon in February, and 400 West Rich is quiet except for the music blaring from Michael Halliday’s studio. His fingertips are stained bluish-purple from the large, abstract expressionist painting hung on the far wall. He’s been painting big since he was a freshman at Ohio State—working small is torture for him—which is why he requested this studio, abutting the biggest wall in the building. He was among the first wave of artists to rent space in this 98,000-square-foot building in Franklinton, arriving in November 2011. A sign proclaims: “Michael J. Halliday: Prolific years in Columbus, 2011–Now.”

All Halliday ever wanted to be was a painter. He blew a big chance once, he says, and then didn’t paint for more than a dozen years because he thought his career was over. He picked it up again while living in California, and it was a lifesaver during a dark period. His baritone voice trembles and his lip quivers. He moved back to Columbus in 2011, and it’s been the best time of his life for making art.

Old Mills Remade in Pawtucket, R.I., With Art as Their Product


PAWTUCKET, R.I. — This city just north of Providence, settled in the 17th century and home to dozens of old mills, is claiming a new identity.

Once known for its significant role during the Industrial Revolution, when it churned out textiles, and later jewelry, in 70 or so mills, Pawtucket is now gaining a reputation for its studio and loft space for artists, and affordable space for entrepreneurs.

Since the late 1990s, when the city started an arts initiative to help salvage vacant and underused mills, eight former mills have been redeveloped as commercial spaces for artists and small creative businesses. Three of them are huge complexes with several connected buildings; available space in them is scarce.

The city’s effort is based on a simple premise, according to Herbert Weiss, Pawtucket’s cultural and economic affairs officer: “All artists are small businesses.”

Individually, the artists and small businesses do not employ as many people as the mills did in their glory days, but collectively they have injected new life into Pawtucket, Mr. Weiss and others said. And they have added almost $1 million in additional annual revenue to the city’s tax base.

Along with the commercial redevelopment, nine mills have been converted into loft apartments and condominiums, and more than 500 additional residential units are planned.

The mills have attracted local developers like Jonathan N. Savage, a lawyer who has adapted three former mills to new uses. One of them, the 325,000-square-foot Lorraine Mills, has more than 200 tenants. Outside it one recent day, large, colorful steel sculptures by Donald Gerola turned in the breeze.

Repurposing Two Former Downtown Industrial Sites

By Kathleen McCormick - November 21, 2016

Two case studies on how obsolete industrial buildings have been redeveloped for a new life in the new economy—the focus of this 2016 ULI Fall Meeting session—offered lessons about capitalizing on site location, the buildings’ qualities, and the developers’ visions for creating dynamic mixed-use places that are profitable as well as mission driven.

Howard Kozloff, managing partner of Agora Partners in Los Angeles, said the two fairly large-scale conversions of industrial land, with different approaches on how to structure the capital stack, were visionary projects that offered lessons on “turning an eyesore into a profit and a community asset.”

In central San Antonio, the Pearl Brewery—founded in 1881 and once the largest employer in the city—was shut down in 2001, leaving 18 acres (7.3 ha) with 10 million cubic feet (283,000 cubic m) of historic buildings, train engines, tractor trailer rigs, and other detritus, recalled Bill Shown, managing director of real estate for Silver Ventures. The San Antonio developer wanted to create a destination mixed-use restaurant district. This project, said Shown, “was the kind of thing you run from.” Located on the San Antonio River, the decrepit industrial site had falling-down historic buildings full of asbestos and lead paint, it flooded regularly, and it was frequented by drug users and squatters.

The team took down some of the old structures and restored others. They developed a total of 850,000 square feet (79,000 sq m), including 430 apartments, 50,000 square feet (4,600 sq m) of local retail, and 120,000 square feet (11,000 sq m) of office space. They redeveloped the Second Empire–style brew house into the 146-room Hotel Emma, which readers of Condé Nast Traveler voted the third best in the United States last year. They transformed a 1904 jewel-box building into Cured restaurant, and the stables into an event center. They approached the Culinary Institute of America, based in Hyde Park, New York, to open a campus on the site to focus on Latin American cuisine and to train local Latino youth for work in the food industry. They also began developing restaurants and curating “bright young chefs who’d never had their own restaurants before,” said Shown. Those, he said, are the most popular of the 17 restaurants developed so far as part of Pearl’s “community of chefs.”

Should Bowling Alleys Be on America's List of Endangered National Treasures?

by KEITH FLANAGAN - OCT 12, 2016

You might remember Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood bludgeoning his false-prophet co-star with a bowling pin. It was a performance—and accent—so broad it later won him an Oscar. And yes, there was blood.

But do you remember that grand bowling alley?

Kevin Hong does. The Seattle-based photographer, who documents bowling centers across the country, plans to photograph the two-lane alley inside Beverly Hills' 1928 Greystone Mansion for his ongoing series, The Vintage Alleys Project. "They're like drive-in theaters and payphones," says Hong, a longtime bowler himself. "They're disappearing from the American landscape."

Almost 11,000 bowling centers operated across the country in the 1960s. "Now there are only about 4,500," says Mark Miller, who literally wrote the book on bowling, Bowling, which chronicles the national pastime from antiquity to present day. "The number of people bowling kept climbing up until about 1980, and it has dropped ever since then," says Miller.

At the turn of the 19th century, bowling alleys were dark places, ripe for drinking and gambling (greetings, kingpins) in smokey nooks. Dodgy teenagers—called pinboys, and labeled derelicts—set pins by hand for the barest of wages. Milwaukee's Holler House, built in 1908 is the oldest bowling alley in the country, and a rare surviving example of these early lanes. "If you're a bowling fan at all, it's sort of like the holy grail," says Hong. Pins are famously still set by hand. "It's so diametrically opposite of today's modern bowling establishment."

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