Work began today on the Anthe Building, the 1897 factory in central Covington that is going to become Lost Art Press’ new headquarters in June.
This morning we shot this short video tour of the building before we began work. This is the “before” picture. The “after” picture? We’re shooting that in 2028.
What is important about today is something I have said before but cannot say enough. I am the blabbermouth of this company because I have a voice that carries, the dancing monkey moves and I don’t care what other people think about me. But I am just one part of Lost Art Press.
If it weren’t for John Hoffman, we wouldn’t have a distribution system or outside authors writing books for us. He is in charge of getting books into the mail and getting authors and suppliers paid. It is thankless grunt work. And so I now grunt my thanks at him.
Megan Fitzpatrick, our first employee, has taken over many of the editorial and toolmaking tasks that were drowning me. She usually knows what I am going to say before I say it, and she usually has a better idea at the ready. Thanks to her, I am still able to make furniture and write books, which is my true love.
We also have Kara, who handles all our contracts and writes our author profiles (and who is working with Heather at Covington Uncovered to research the building’s history, which we’ll be sharing here). And Meghan, who handles all the customer service. Thankless jobs all. So thank you.
Plus the dozens of suppliers and retailers who perform miracles almost every week on our behalf.
All of these people were the reason we were able to purchase this building. And they are the reason I am not having a panic attack about it.
Yes, we have a ton of work ahead of us. But all of us together will make it happen.
Additionally, as we fixed up our building on Willard Street during the last eight years, we also built a team of contractors and subcontractors who know what the hell they are doing. Most of these people are older than I am and have been in the trades all their lives. And they know Covington and its unique architecture. And they get things done.
So let it begin.
— Christopher Schwarz
If you would like to help fund the restoration project, we are selling some limited-edition items here.
42 thoughts on “Video Tour of the Anthe Building – Our New HQ”
You and Megan F. are the face of Lost Art Press and while we “know” there are more of you, it is appreciated on my end (and theirs) that the whole team gets recognition from time to time. The deserve it. Double grog and no floggings this week. 🙂
Video is missing?
Some browsers don’t work well with Vimeo.
the new building is just fabulous. I look forward to seeing it up close in the next few weeks during the staked bench class. My vote is for one on the upper floors be used for woodworking classes. Modern toilets required…
For now classes will be at our Willard Street offices. Having classes on the top floor would be cool, as long as we can get the elevator up to code. Otherwise… lots of stairs.
Thank you for the video tour. It’s so apparent that you three are very enthusiastic about this wonderful building and its potential.
Is it weird that while watching the video I was dying to know what it smelled like in there? 🙂
The ground floor has an oily smell as the floor is soaked with machine oil. This will be mitigated before we occupy the building. The basement is a bit damp and musty now. But once the humidity is under control (HVAC goes in on Monday) that will go away. The top two floors don’t have much of a smell. Yet.
Ahhh, thank you, now I feel as if I’ve had the full tour experience!
Hi, Some interesting background on Anthe Machine Works here:
I’m seeing “Video does not exist”. Story of my life…
Some browsers and mail readers don’t play nice with Vimeo. Try this.
ok- works now. Could be a number of things going on. It crashed in opera and Chrome. I use Firefox.
The Iron stand in the basement was used in pairs to store line shaft components.
I think I have three of them.
Will the board room be known as the Anthechamber?
(Don’t bother, I’ll show myself out.)
I don’t know if it’s the way the picture was taken or if there is an issue with the stability of the building.
When you look at the building straight on it looks like it’s leaning towards the left, and if you look at the right side of the building starting on the bottom there is a gap that gets bigger as you look to the roof line.
No building remains completely square or level over time… but I suspect the camera and perspective are misleading.
Quick thought: If the space was used by a letterpress shop, there is likely to be a significant amount of lead dust. You may want to think about having that tested and, if present, mitigated or at least encapsulated.
I have to admit, letterpress was my first thought upon seeing the building… but that’s because I’ve spent more time running a press than a drill press.
That’s going to be really nice when you’re done renovating. Congratulations to you and John.
You and Notre Dame cathedral should be finished around the same time then.
Congratulations on your Giddy Building! Your excitement and tour is contagious. “So cool,” me thinks. Damn, this is one helluva project. I can’t wait to visit! Like your books and tools I’m sure it will be a fine living, working tribute to those past and our future. Thank you all!
Sure have a lot of ideas on how to handle complaining customers in your new location!
Haha. It makes you think twice about returning that chore coat for the third time (just kidding).
We all have sick senses of humor.
Huge opportunity this weekend, Bob Yapp, Belvedere School of Preservation, is in Covington with new Covington Academy of Heritage Trades for a masonry trades workshop weekend. Two weeks ago I attended the first on wood windows. Incredible font of knowledge and advice available – if you are not too busy. Contact CAHT.
“ I have a voice that carries, the dancing monkey moves and I don’t care what other people think about me.” Poetry that is what you write and speak. Congratulations totally cool.
What an interesting building! I can easily see the great potential. It seems perfect for LAP and somehow it reminds me of traditional, practical Dutch town-houses / medieval workshops with their narrow street-fronts and ability to lift good up to higher floors. I’m really happy for you and looking forward to following this great adventure as it unfolds in the years to come. Best wishes!
What will you use the existing building for once the new one is fully up and running? Will it just become private space, or will it still be utilized for LAP business?
I live here, and all my tools are here.
The current plan is to continue to use this space for classes and photography.
If there was an old style print shop there, they’d probably used a typesetting machine like a Linotype, where you have to melt the material (lead, antimony), hence maybe the fire-protected stuff on the third. Or maybe they had a rotating press where you’d use stypes (curved impressions in a papier-maché like material, that would serve as the master for the print form that would be cast in it. Needed curing and molten lead). Awesome stuff!
And what makes it even more awesome that the Acme Company made all that stuff Wile E. Coyote used to pursue and catch the Roadrunner.
Awesome, love it. Lucky to have beautiful windows like those in working condition. Congratulations again, fabulous project.
That’s an awful lot of beautiful daylight to store books in. While watching the video I kept thinking, there’s no way they just bought that for “storage”. It would be a nice place for a school… and then, on the third floor: “The previous owners were going to turn it into a school”…
Given the silk purse you created on Willard the city should be very cooperative! No longer have the stamina for things like painting all day but if you decide you need some drapes on a window or two, do let me know!
Totally rad. I am happy for you guys. Good luck with the renovation!
This makes me very happy. I really hope you continue to share as much of your progress as you can. I know some nits will complain it’s not “woodworking.” Maybe. But it is fascinating, informative, and fun. I wish I lived 800 miles closer.
Shaddup! No points for dropping the word in “woodworking” in an OT post. 😉
Anyone on this blog longer than a week should know Chris can go from reading medieval French, to dropping references from Psychedelic Groove Machine in half a heartbeat. 🙂
Thanks for shooting the video. It’s a great old building. Lots of work in your future. Please try for a horizontal video instead of vertical next time!
Awesome news. If you look around you might find a few belt-driven woodworking machines to put on the 2nd floor as sort of a working museum. A lathe is probably easiest to find, but I imagine you can also find converted planers, jointers and maybe even a table saw or a swing saw (those scare the $#*% out of me) that can be converted back to belt-drive. You might be able to get a tax break for doing it. I can’t wait to see your progress.
You should start calling it the Lost Art Press International HQ.
Perhaps when we open our Portugal branch!
The ceiling in the basement looks exactly like ceilings in Gold Rush-era buildings here in Nevada City/Grass Valley California. Happily, a lot of the businesses in both downtowns have removed drop ceilings to expose the original ceilings. Here’s one (distorted by fish-eye lens): https://sierrastarr.com/locations/tasting-room/
Don’t be too overconfident on those floors, paper and books weigh a LOT, specially when stacked up. The New South Wales Police Fingerprint Unit used to occupy one floor of the former CIB building in Sydney – when it was decided to move them and their records to a new site, someone calculated the weight – their paper records exceeded the weight limit for the whole building nine (9!) times over, and the file drawers had to be able to be accessed easily so they only reached to shoulder height not the ceiling. Luckily the original floors had been replaced with reinforced concrete with Frank Lloyd Wright style ‘golf tee’ pillars, but the exceeded calculation was for the concrete floors. Strange family history – my Great Aunt accidentally burnt the same building in the early 1900’s when as a girl she wondered why there were signs everywhere saying ‘No Naked Flames’ – so she lit a match…it was a kapok mattress factory. My father had a job repainting some offices in the 1950’s – same building – and they still had photos of the smoke and flames shooting out the windows from my great aunt’s little misadventure.
John has some very fancy boots. No slumming it with Red Wing.
Really cool video. You will definately want to speak with Kathy Anthe Porter in Lakeside Park KY. She is the daughter of Frank J. Anthe and can give you first hand information on that building.
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