Every once in a while, you get to work on a project that ticks all the boxes.
The S.T.E.A.M. Garden in Albany is one of those projects. Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Media – S.T.E.A.M. – is breathing new life into a once-vacant building, a neighborhood, and the Capital Region’s creative economy.
The S.T.E.A.M. Garden is a collaborative effort led by the Central Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) and its partners to create an innovative living lab that offers co-work space and other vital resources to entrepreneurs and small startups that may not otherwise be able to avoid office space.
You know I’m a big booster of historic preservation, neighborhood revitalization and the creative economy – but to find them all in one place? Count me in!
I’ve been following the work to develop the S.T.E.A.M. Garden for many years, and I’m beyond delighted to be able to help with promotions and publicity – especially around the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting, coming up on December 10.
The S.T.E.A.M. Garden is housed in the former St. Patrick’s Elementary School, built in 1905. The former St. Patrick’s Church next door is now the Shrine Church of our Lady of the Americas, which is affiliated with Blessed Sacrament Parish further west on Central Avenue.
The Central Avenue BID bought the building from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany in 2011 for $200,000. Rehabilitation of two floors is substantially complete, with additional work planned for the upper two floors. Historic 15-over-15 windows in the Co-Work Flex Space (the former gymnasium) will be removed one at a time and restored in an on-site Maker Lab with assistance from the State Historic Preservation Office and Hudson Valley Community College’s trades training program.
Beyond historic preservation, the S.T.E.A.M. Garden is helping to strengthen the relationships between Central Avenue’s commercial assets, its adjacent residential neighborhoods and nearby educational institutions. Walkable and well-served by public transportation, the neighborhood around the S.T.E.A.M. Garden is rich with small and minority-owned businesses.
CMR Communications is helping to spread the word that the S.T.E.A.M. Garden is making the Central Avenue Corridor into an economic force to be reckoned with, as project partners work to cultivate technology innovation, entrepreneurship, workforce training and talent attraction.
For more info check out the S.T.E.A.M. Garden or the Central Avenue BID online, or RSVP for the ribbon cutting and public Open House on Tuesday, December 10 from noon - 3:00 p.m.!
How can I help you or your organization celebrate a milestone? Drop me a line – let’s make #SmallTalk!
Colleen M. Ryan is an