There’s a building–pictured above–that has been somewhat of a dream of mine.
Like most dreams–whether of people, places or things–it is unlikely to come to fruition. Not only because I lack the skill set to make it happen (“skill” including the capital) but also I don’t have the immediate motivation to create it as I do to dream aloud of it.
But unlike many other kinds of dreams, my pondering it, ruminating over it, letting my eyes caress the details of it, this dream seems to be a socially acceptable thing, and so I’ll write about it.
The lot is up for sale, at least it was until recently. When I passed by last week, I didn’t see the Brinkman Commercial sign on it. If it’s sold, my dream still holds.
Here are its features:
- A corrugated metal structure, which I’d keep, though I could see it getting hotter-n-hell with the material heating up in the summer. There must have been a decent cooling system there before, so I’d leave that to the engineers and architects to figure out. All I know is that the corduroy effect is a pleasant one to my eye, and it’s not the ubiquitous limestone or sandstone.
- Even the new Broadway Bank building on Main and Sidney Baker, though its smooth exterior emits a nice modern effect, has a homogenous beige façade that reflects the primary demographic of its account holders.
- The east side, on the corner, has a ~20 x 10 foot slanted roof “shack” that appears snapped onto the larger building almost like a LEGO piece. Lacking much light, that would need to be remedied if it were to serve as the retail place I would hope it to be. More windows of course, but maybe even a large skylight, since the harsher afternoon light might be partly shielded by the main building, or could be designed to be.
- The two sets of huge sliding doors on Hays must stay. They are fabulous.
- There’s a dirt and scrub lot to the south–the left of the photo where the trees are.
What would this whole building and lot be used for?
It would be a coffee house/artists’ maker space/retail shop.
It’s a block away from the newly renovated H-E-B. It’s two blocks up and one over from Pint and Plow. Therefore, it’s within walking distance of other frequently visited locations.
I may be unfair in my distinction here, but describing locations as how many “blocks” away from each other they are is a pedestrian measurement system. Drivers measure distances in time: 1 minute, 5 minutes, “about a half hour” away. Time in a car means nothing to a pedestrian, who walks about 3.5 to 4 miles an hour (if brisk). I knew exactly how long it would take me to walk twenty blocks in New York City, and there was never any “traffic” to speak of. Even meandering clots of tourists didn’t require me to slow down or be fined for speeding in a Work Zone.
Granted, places like Fredericksburg have most of their walkable area on the main drag. But it seems that the city of Kerrville will be stymied for economic growth–not only by not having additional businesses here but also the accompanying population growth of younger families that bring vitality and tax dollars–until we string together more areas to which people can walk and walk between. Again, Fredericksburg has proven that people will walk around in Texas in the summer. Consumerism, after all, makes us do crazy shit.
The inside of my building there on Schreiner and Hays would feel open and airy on the inside. It would keep the trusses exposed and perhaps have large fans pulling the hot air up and out. Convection? I’m purely speculating here and throwing around multi-syllabic terms to sound more informed.
You enter off Hays, through those sliding doors, which are open most of the year and create additional air flow. Much like Pint and Plow, there is a bit of outdoor dining in front (along Hays), and then most dining and drinking happens inside. Maybe some happens in the lot, which is cleared out, with those cool-looking light bulbs hanging from trees strung across the area. Picnic benches allow us to enjoy the climate most of the year (like Pint and Plow or Hays City Store).
As you walk through the main inside area, off to the right (the west side of the building), there is an artists’ “maker space.” Here, artists of various kinds can paint, do metal work, sculpt, etc. Maybe there’s a plexiglass divider to cut down on noise. Or maybe there are times that quieter creation (painting, jewelry design) can be done during dining hours, and other art (metal work with welding, carpentry with table saws) that’s done after hours. That space is rented out.
The neighborhood is mostly commercial, but there are some residences, so to keep the nighttime noise level to a minimum its license for live music would be limited to acoustic.
The retail space on the corner would sell merchandise like Pint and Plow has, branded around the space. It would also sell some of the local art made on site. And, of course, it would sell what seems to most people as a square peg in a round hole but, for me, is an essential: snap shirts.
Seems a bit random.
But without the snap shirts, the whole project just doesn’t come together for me.