Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Atlanta Georgia- Report from the Field, Part 2- The Goat Farm

During my stay in Atlanta I visited the real estate experiment called The Goat Farm. The Goat Farm is a for profit project which focuses on reinhabiting old run down factory buildings with an artist colony. Is it working? Well, according to the folks I met there it not only is working but is growing by leaps and bounds. There is a waiting list for occupancy and the developers are getting more and more spaces up to code for studio and living space.
Here is an abbreviated document of my stroll through the grounds on a weekday in the afternoon.
When I arrived the first building I came to was being cleared out and there was a sale of the contents ( mostly huge machines- drill presses , stamping machines etc.-) where I did purchase some items- some of which will figure into a future 13th Grape multiple.
The building range from functioning spaces to dangerously run down structures

 Machines abound, converted into tables or workspaces.
There is even a cafe that was open when I arrived. Besides the occasional photo shoot I happened upon this is the only place I found residents of the compound.

Inside the cafe they served coffee in an atmosphere of one part bar one part library.

Here at the cafe I wandered into a conversation between several guests who had also been at the clear out sale and some metal smiths. The smiths talked passionately about lost metal working techniques that they were trying to keep alive through classes they offer at the compound. I met a fellow from the UK named Mark J. Hopper and another resident metal worker named David Sturgis. Mr. Hopper later took me on a tour of his working studios and class rooms.

Hopper offers a therapeutic metal pounding night to relieve stress with this circle of anvils located in his space. He also gets some of his metal flattened out ( a head start to the process at least) for his own ends.

Custom knives created at the metal shop. Some of them for kitchen use with handles made of old recipe books and resin. A very beautiful and clever use of material.

The space of jewelry designer/manufacturer Billie Hilliard.

Overall I had a very inspiring time at The Goat Farm. I left with the wish that we could create and sustain something like this in Tampa. It is a smart thing for a developer to do. The developers and administrative wing of the project are obviously making money and the residents seem happy and fulfilled. I look forward to visiting The Goat Farm in the future and seeing the progress.

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