A newcoffeehouse coming to Railyard
WORK IS UNDERWAY ON SKY COFFEE, THE NEWEST BUSINESS COMING TO THE SANTA FE RAILYARD. The shop is located in the oldWelder’s Supply Building at 1609 Alcaldesa Street, cattycorner across the railroad tracks from the Violet Crown Cinema.
“Ever since we built Violet Crown, I’ve very much admired theWelder’s Supply Building and saw a great opportunity to create a coffee shop in the Railyard,” said Bill Banowsky, owner of the movie-theater group based in Austin. “We have come to believe that the Railyard is more andmore becoming a center of activity in Santa Fe and we think it will become even more so in the future, and the area is without a coffee shop. It’s been two years sinceThe Station coffeeshop closed.”
The small building, a combination of adobe and frame construction, dates to the 1920s. At the time the City of Santa Fe began developing the old rail yards, it was known as theWelder’s Supply Building. Most recently it housed the Bon Marché shop, which owner Leslie Parrish has moved to and expanded space at 66W. Marcy Street.
The building has a “contributing” status in the city’s historic district. It used to be part of theWholesale Builders Supply complex of small office structures and long sheds used for storage of building materials. “With one exception, the structures were evaluated in 1997 as non-contributing historic buildings,” according to the Railyard Master Plan. “The exception isWelder’s Supply, which in 2001 was evaluated as a contributing historic structure and is recommended for adaptive reuse”— remodeling for a new owner or tenant while maintaining historic architectural values.
“The essential historic building will remain,” said Tom Easterson-Bond of WoodMetalConcrete Architecture. “We’re adding a deck and railing outside with a take-out window, and the inside will be for sit-down coffee.” The current wood floor and stamped-tin ceiling will be retained. Sustainably harvested timber will be employed for the outside decking, and the owner and architect hope to do a photovoltaic system on the canopy.
“This is not a very large project, but it’s very architecturally tightwith a little bit of concrete and a little bit of steel, and it will be very pedestrian-oriented,” Easterson-Bond said.
“We all love this building and it’s a wonderful location,” said owner/developer Rose Utton. “Our deck and take-out window will face the pedestrian walk along the tracks; we’re trying to activate that.” Utton is the developer of a number of buildings in the North Area (Railyard Galleries, LewAllen Galleries) and Baca Area (Rising Sun Fine Art Storage, Santa FeModern, YaresArt Projects, Art Handlers) of the Santa Fe Railyard. She said remodel construction on Sky Coffee will begin in early May and the shop should be open in earlyAugust.
Also under way in the Railyard and scheduled for completion this year or early in 2018 are the Twisted Cow Compound, a live-work condominium project in the Baca District designed for artists, creative professionals, and small community nonprofits; the expansion of the SITE Santa Fe contemporary art museum; and Railyard Flats, a 58-unit apartment building at 701 Camino de Familia, behind SITE Santa Fe.
A rendering from architect Tom Easterson-Bond shows what Sky Coffee will look like. At left is the “Alameda” pedestrian walkway just south of the railroad tracks and behind the coffeehouse is the old Butler Building that houses the Santa Fe Home and Boxcar businesses.
Left, the old Welder’s Supply Building, with graffiti, in about 2006 (courtesy Santa Fe Railyard Community Corporation). Above, in April 2017, ready for remodel (Paul Weideman)