New Artist Space at the Belden

The Belden Building, a work in progress.

Artists forced out of the ArtCraft building by the City of Cleveland’s choice of that location for a new Police headquarters have one more option to move their studios. Stephanie Hronek and 78th Street Studios proprietor Dan Bush hosted an open house December 7 at what they are calling the Belden Building, at 1623 East 45th near Payne Avenue.  

Built in 1947 for the Republic Brass Co., it was home to Shaver Manufacturing until 2006, before it was sold and used for storage. It went vacant about 6 years ago, Hronek said.

The building is still rough, yet to be divided into individual studios, but Hronek showed a floor plan with 13 suites in the works, 11 of which are available. They range from 450 up to 1700 square feet. The studio doors will face a central gallery that runs through the middle of the building. Tenants will be able to use the space for exhibits.

Stephanie Hronek and the Belden floor plan.

Hronek and Bush are seeking artists and makers who need industrial strength facilities: wood workers, ceramic artists, glass blowers, metal workers, sculptors, and the like: practices that use heavy machines. The 19,000 square foot factory building is constructed on an eight-to-ten inch concrete slab over the ground, with no basement, so –as Hronek says—it has “almost unlimited” weight-bearing capacity.

While the space is still rough, it is vastly improved from its condition when the partners bought it. “There was an inch and a half of green, slimy water on the floor when we first came in,” Bush said. Since then they have installed a new roof. The original, north-facing clerestory windows not only let in abundant natural light, but are also still functional for ventilation.

The first tenant has moved equipment and begun to work, though his space is not yet enclosed by walls and does not yet have all its facilities, which will include three-phase power and a gas line for a forge. Sculptor Stephen Yusko (who, with Stephen Manka, created the metal sculptures at the Wendy Park bridge) was on hand for the open house and talked about a current project—a bouquet of flowers he is forging for a collaborative group exhibition in Maine. In addition to a forge, his practice requires a power hammer, welding equipment and other tools. He spends a significant amount of time teaching metal-working skills, including at the Penland School (North Carolina) and the Center for Metal Arts (Pennsylvania). He plans to eventually offer classes at the Belden Building.

Hronek will occupy one of the suites with her motorcycle building and restoration business.

The Belden Building is named for Silas Belden, who bought the land—a 100 acre parcel—in the 1840s. Before the city implemented its street numbering system, East 45th Street was called Belden Street.  Landmarks include the Billy Lawless sculpture, “The Politician: A Toy,” and a mural, The Roller Skating Factory, by Randall Oldrieve. The event space known as The Madison (where FRONT Triennial hosted its opening gala) is nearby.

Artists who are interested in taking a look can email Stephanie Hronek:

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