Plans for proposed Tyler arts center presented to city council

Published on Wednesday, 26 February 2014 09:55 - Written by

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The Tyler City Council this morning heard details surrounding a proposed arts and innovation center.

Assistant City Manager Susan Guthrie said the project would include a two-floor gallery, along with offices, a gift store area and a reception area.

On the third floor would be the arts incubator area, she said, which provides space for artists to perform their craft and gives them a place where they can turn that craft into business.

Ms. Guthrie said artists also would have the opportunity to display their products and sell them, and young film makers would have access to equipment as part of the proposed project.

She said the project will be done in three phases "as soon as money rolls in," with the first phase including infrastructure and the gallery. Funding is primarily expected to come from private donations. 

Planning started in July 2013, when Mayor Barbara Bass appointed the arts center task force to provide recommendations for such a project at the S.A. Lindsey Building, at 123 S. Broadway Ave., according to city council communication.

The vacant building, which has eight floors, was gifted to the city in 2010 by the R.W. Fair Foundation and the Fair Estate, the city council communication states.

The building is a great space for public use, given the Fair Plaza Garage project, which is currently being constructed nearby, Guthrie said.

According to city council communication, task force members gathered multiple times in the last six months “to explore the potential uses of the building.”

Ms. Guthrie said the task force conducted an arts inventory, among other steps. She said efforts also included a lot of research.  

“There’s been … a lot of outside work done to bring the best ideas,” she added.

Task force members eventually voted on six final concepts to recommend to council members, according to city council communication. They include an art gallery, an arts incubator, a performing/culinary art lab and a potential maker space, the city council communication states.

Ms. Guthrie said the recommendations for the project have now become drawings and renderings.

According to city council communication, Butler Architectural Group “developed cost estimates, renderings and a phasing plan,” and primary funding for the project is expected to come from private donations.

Meanwhile, the building is “primed and ready for renovation,” Ms. Guthrie said.