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Pace of change heats up at Glassworks building

Post Time:Mar 13,2012Classify:Industry NewsView:306

Some major changes are afoot at Glassworks, aimed at spurring tourism-related business in the 10-year-old project at Ninth and Market streets.


Flame Run Glass Studio and Gallery, owned by Brook Forrest White Jr., is moving into the facility and taking over the hot shop where tourists can watch glass being blown. And Mark Payton of Payton Flameworks is relocating within Glassworks and will be conducting tours and workshops.


Glassworks is located in the old Snead Building, which was built in 1911 as the largest concrete structure in Kentucky.


City Properties Group, led by architect and developer Bill Weyland, bought and renovated the building, opening it as Glassworks. The project has been the home to artists and musicians. The first two floors have glass-related studios, galleries and shops, including the hot shop. Its upper floors have 35 residential units, located above three floors of offices.


Andrea VanAusdall, a spokeswoman for City Properties Group, said the changes are intended to strengthen the project. “We are really in a strong position right now,” she said.


City Properties has been trying to operate the tourism-oriented facilities at Glassworks since last May. It took them over from Architectural Glass Art, led by noted glass artist Ken vonRoenn. His company still has operations at Glassworks, but vonRoenn is relocating much of his production business to larger quarters at Seventh and Breckinridge streets.


Glassworks plans a 10th-anniversary celebration in a month or so, or after Flame Run at Glassworks and the Mark Payton Glass Center are established in their new spaces at Glassworks, 815 W. Market St.


All elements of the Glassworks building will remain open, with most of the changes completed by early April.


White is moving Flame Run from 828 E. Market St. in the NuLu district. White said he is in the middle of moving. At Glassworks, Flame Run will lease the hot shop, welding shop, a blown-glass gallery and gift shop. It also will offer classes for beginning glass artists.

White was an original tenant in Glassworks, staying two years before relocating the business to East Market. There he leases about 12,000 square feet of space. But he said he had a “landlord situation” that necessitated a relocation. White said he has a lot of equipment to move and needs to “pare down,” because he will lease only about 8,000 square feet at Glassworks.


White said the operation at Glassworks will bring “strolling visitors to experience glass-blowing demonstrations and arts and gifts made from glass. This move gives us a chance to continue our growth, recalibrate and reorganize. Plus, the move to a new location will give us the fresh air and impetus to create something new.”


White said he remains committed to the success of the arts in Louisville, and that the move to Glassworks, which is within walking distance of the Louisville Slugger Museum, the Louisville Science Center and the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft will cater to tourists. He said he expects substantial walk-in traffic that should lead to new opportunities for Flame Run to engage directly with others in glassmaking and the enjoyment of glass as art.


Payton, meanwhile, will be moving to a new space within Glassworks and reopening as the Mark Payton Glass Center. Payton’s studio will expand and assume control of the Walk-In Workshop, tours and a new gallery that will focus on flameworked glass, flat glass and jewelry.


Payton said the move is “a great chance for us to show our capabilities, entertaining and educating people about glass arts.”


Payton will offer seasonal glass objects — shamrocks, for example — and will focus on children’s activities, plus catering to group events, birthday parties and school groups.


VanAusdall said Payton and White will jointly oversee the glass-related and tourist-related operations.


“We will have real live operators in there now,” she said.

Source: www.courier-journal.comAuthor: shangyi

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