We have just received stock of our newest bandana design; this one is navy blue and features a line drawing of the Anthe building (aka the new Lost Art Press shipping location and headquarters), plus a bunch of woodworking machine cutterheads (made by Anthe for more than a century) and bees. The bandanas were made by One Feather Press.
These are the nicest, softest, well-printed bandanas we’ve ever encountered. They are made one at a time by one guy in his shop. Pre-washed. Ready to become a good friend on the first day.
The bandanas are 22” x 22” and cost $33. More details in our store.
On Sept. 29, 2023 (last Friday, for those of you reading in real time), the last Lost Art Press order shipped out of the Indiana warehouse. Today, a semi brought the first load of our books and tools from that third-party warehouse to our new warehouse in Covington, the Anthe Building. And there are two more truckloads to come, tomorrow and Wednesday.
John Hoffman, the business side of Lost Art Press, is on hand to oversee the changeover, and our shipping team, Mark Gilsdorf and Gabe Gavre, are loading all the books and tools into the warehouse, and keeping it all organized. They’ll do their best to also get orders out while the changeover happens, but there might be a delay of a day or two this week; we beg your patience and understanding.
Also, the new warehouse is our shipping operation only (for now); it is not open to the public. So if you’re planning to visit Lost Art Press (and we welcome all visitors!), please continue to come to the storefront at 837 Willard, Covington, Ky. 41011. We remain fully stocked at the storefront with all our book and tools. And if you don’t see us up front in the bench room, please knock – we’re likely around the corner at our computers.
We will move the remainder of our inventory into the Anthe building during the first week in October. The three semis have been scheduled. We have a plan.
But until that moment the first truck arrives on Oct. 2, we have to move a few mountains.
It began when our walk-behind forklift was delivered. It was about 8” too tall to fit through our new $6,000 roll-up door. Yes, everyone measured the opening, including the salesman for Crown. Someone somewhere made a mistake.
So to fix that problem, we had to remove the new door, rip out the $400 plastic flaps that kept the AC in the building and hire a mason to remove three courses of bricks ($500) and rebuild the opening. Then order additional parts for the roll-up door ($1,900).
So last week, we rolled our brand-new fork truck through the new opening and we heard a quiet but terrible noise. Some of the old floorboards crumbed under the wheels of the truck.
Yes, a structural engineer inspected the building and green-lighted our plan.
But some of the floorboards were unexpectedly worn (some were 1/4” thick ) and fragile from 130 years of heavy use. (The joists were holding more-than-fine.) So we added felt and a thick tongue-and-groove OSB floor. The floor is designed to be removed by future generations if they want to return to the old floor.
We also added the OSB to the second floor to allow us to move pallets around more easily (there will not be a fork truck on the second floor – just a manual pallet jack).
Despite all this, we are making it, one unexpected problem at a time.
Note: Please do me a favor and don’t take potshots at our efforts here. These decisions were arrived at by professionals (not us) with decades of experience with old buildings. This blog entry cannot possibly give you all the information you need to have an opinion of what is happening on-site. If you’re gonna be a jerk, I’m not going to respond; I’m just going to delete your comment.
Last week, the county inspectors said we could start occupying the first floor and the basement of our new headquarters. And, after we add some more exit signs and emergency lighting, we will be allowed to occupy the second and third floors.
On Monday, we will move our fulfillment operations to the first floor of the Anthe building. John and his crew are going to set up the packing tables and picking carts. And set up some more shelving racks.
This is a big step forward. But there is still much to do. We need to get the second floor cleaned up so we can move the last of our inventory from Indiana. And our general contractor is now fitting out the storefront.
The storefront will be used for storage until we can get the second floor ready for inventory. But after that, we’ll start designing shelving for the retail space. We want to have the retail area done for Christmas. But that is (I’m guessing) stupidly unrealistic.
But “Stupidly Unrealistic Since 2007,” is our corporate motto.
When you rehabilitate an old building, your plans have to change (almost daily) to keep things moving forward and to code.
The “code” part of the project is what has been driving us for the last few weeks. We want the building to look like it did when we bought it and was empty. But it also has to be safe and adhere to the county’s regulations if we ever want to occupy it.
This week, the fire-resistant drywall went in around the stairwell, and it was (honestly) a bit dispiriting. I know we are going to cover parts of the drywall with beadboard (some of it original), which will look better. But the drywall really changes the look of the place. And it made us re-evaluate how we are going to use the second floor of the building.
My hope all along has been to use the second floor as our editorial offices, with excess storage at the rear of the second floor
But after the walls went up to meet code and were covered in the first layer of drywall, it was obvious that the second floor isn’t ideal for offices. The fire-resistant walls interrupt the building’s front windows. And the resulting space (and all the mechanicals on the wall), made me rethink the space.
I think we are going to devote the entire second floor to storage.
After some thought, this makes good sense. The second floor has a double door at the rear (right above our loading area). We can use our forklift to put pallets directly into the second floor from a delivery truck. No elevator necessary.
The third floor looks like our future editorial offices. The fire-rated drywall area is much smaller, so the space is more open. And we don’t have any plans for it yet. This allows us to grow with lots of storage on the second floor and offices on the third floor, with room for workbenches and all the other things in my head.
Despite all this faffing, we are getting close to occupancy. If our schedule holds, we will be able to move fulfillment operations to Anthe by the end of this month.
It’s not all dispiriting. We have a new functioning awning on the front of the building, which looks fantastic and works. Our bathroom works and is to code (after moving a wall about 5/8″).
And this is my fourth rodeo with 19th-century building rehabs. I know it is always worth it in the end. I had a similar crisis with all of the other buildings we’ve rehabbed. We get through it. And it’s awesome.
Thanks for all of you who have helped fund the restoration. It has made a real difference.