One of Hartford, Connecticut’s most recognizable buildings is undergoing an ironic modification. The G. Fox building once was the home to a multi-story department store from which you could buy almost anything. I remember shopping at G. Fox when I worked in downtown Hartford in the early 80s.
G. Fox’s flagship store was gradually robbed of its glory. First by suburban malls and then by a chain of mergers until this store was closed and then the G. Fox brand was lost within the Macy’s empire. Today, Internet sales threaten to erase Macy’s and perhaps department stores from the retail space.
Recently, the store has been home to a community college, in an attempt to bring some youthful energy back into Hartford. Education, of a different sort promises to add to this success:
“An array of workshops, computer labs and art studios are being built up inside the iconic G. Fox and Co. building, the new site of Connecticut’s largest makerspace.”
The building will soon be transformed from a place to buy readymade clothing, furniture, artwork and jewelry to a space for do-it-yourselfers make those same products.
“Like other DIY collectives, MakerspaceCT plans to offer classes, equipment and work space for a wide range of traditional crafts and trades — including blacksmithing, welding, woodworking, jewelry making, ceramics and sewing — as well as digital skills, such as 3D printing, computer-controlled routing and engineering…”
With luck, this space will bring a kind of energy into downtown that the city hasn’t seen in many years. The idea that people can work together, face-to-face, collaborating over tools and workbenches instead of computer screens makes me smile. I don’t seem to be the only one smiling. According to one of the organizers:
“We definitely want to bring in the arts because these are inextricably linked and intertwined with innovation and manufacturing,” … “The collaboration you see at other makerspaces is heartwarming, to see people who normally live in different worlds working together to further a project or an idea.”
The “We are the World” Blogfest is in its tenth month of a year-long journey. This blogfest’s goal is to spread the message of light, hope and love in today’s world. We are challenging all participants to share the positive side of humanity. This month’s co-hosts are: Shilpa Garg, Simon Falk, Lynn Hallbrooks, Eric Lahti, Damyanti Biswas and Guilie Castillo.
#WATWB is a blog hop on the last Friday of every month. Click HERE to check out the intention and rules of the blogfest and feel free to sign up at any time between now and February of 2018.