The pace of renovations to the former Ray’s Records building has picked up steadily through August and September, and into the Fall. Looking ahead to 2018, we’re excited to announce that 2513 N. Chamberlain Ave. will be the new office site for Glass House Collective.

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Since 2016, Glass House headquarters has been located at 2501 Glass Street—a rented space that serves as a brick-and-mortar center for community connectivity, where we host community meetings, creative events, and partner programs. GHC’s plan to transition into a newly restored building site is in keeping with our model to inspire activity and investment in the buildings we’ve occupied. For example, when we began work in 2012, we partnered with architects and local craftsmen to restore space at 2523 Glass Street, now owned by Michele Peterson, a local entrepreneur who has furthered the restoration process, creating a beautiful event and office space there.

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The former Ray’s Records building at 2513 N Chamberlain Ave. is a collaborative restoration project between the building’s owner, Mary McSears, New Blue Construction contracting with local plumbers, electricians, and other craftsmen, and Habitat for Humanity’s Neighborhood Revitalization program volunteers, and featuring designs by Jared Hueter of Cogent Architects.

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Daniel Gamble, program coordinator for Neighborhood Revitalization with Habitat explains the unique opportunity the renovation work has been as a partnership project with Glass House Collective:

“Working on Ray’s is a chance for us to gain more experience and stretch and translate our residential restoration abilities into what works for a historic commercial space. It’s also been cool that New Blue employs local tradesmen from the neighborhood… to have so many businesses join together to bring quality work that’s cost effective and locally supportive.”

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So far, the transformation has been huge. The layers of plaster in the space reflect the layers of use within this commercial site. As the antique sign out front says, the site has been home to Fosters Clothing Supply, Ray’s Records, among others over the years. Therefore, the process is about revealing the historic and well-crafted bones within the space, while updating and making it structurally sound, something GHC has relied heavily on Stuart Gaines of New Blue construction, and member of our advisory board, to direct. Reflecting on the progress of the work throughout this year, Gilbert Gann, of the New Blue team shared:

“When New Blue got involved at the old Ray’s record building on Chamberlain Ave, we found a space that had been started, but need to be finished in order to bring the building into a modern, working order. Now, the space has transformed while exposing and highlighting old elements of the space. There will be modern touches of design and build, pushing the space to be a viable option for business and gatherings.

Working with sub-contractors from the neighborhood, Glass House Collective, Habitat for Humanity, Cogent Studios, Studio Everything, and the neighborhood building owners have afforded the unique opportunity to be part of a restoration from the ground up, involving literally dozens of people. It will be wonderful to see this space live again, and we hope it can attract similar fates for the buildings around it.”

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Glass House Collective and our partners and neighbors are all very excited about the progress in this new space. We like to think that our restored commercial space proves the potential of this historic district and its unique architecture.