Don’t you hate how every Lost Art Press project takes years to complete?
After more than three years of work, Lucy and I have found a building for Lost Art Press where we will live out the rest of our days, making stuff and writing about it. We have come to an agreement with the owner of a circa-1890 commercial building with a living space above. If nothing goes wrong, it will be ours at the end in late August or early September.
The building is located in a residential neighborhood in Covington, Ky., that is off Main Street in a particularly German part area. The building first appeared in city records about 1890 as Jos. Horstmann, a “Dealer in staple and Fancy Groceries, Liquors, Cigars &c.” Two Germans lived above the store at that time – a baker and a stonemason.
The store remained a grocery and saloon for many years – switching to soft drinks during Prohibition – and was a meeting place for organizations such as the Latonia Mutual Aid Society and the Deutscher Pioneer Verein, a German publishing group. By the middle of the 20th century, it was a cafe. In the later part of the century it was a jazz club and, finally, a lesbian bar.
We have no desire to become bartenders, so we will convert the first floor to a storefront with a hand-tool workshop, offices, library and photo studio. The upstairs will be our living quarters. The rear of the building has a small courtyard, plus a two-bay garage for a car and a few machines.
These changes will take place during the next four years as we get our youngest through high school and off to college. So we’ll have plenty of time to do the work and do it right.
Have no fear that this blog is going to become the daily diary of This Old Storefront. While we enjoy fixing up old buildings, I much prefer building furniture and writing about it. But there will be a change of scenery. And I’ll probably sell off a last hoard of surplus tools to help make improvements that I cannot do myself.
And when it’s done, we’ll invite everyone to come see it.
— Christopher Schwarz