Impact Hubs Across the Country
New ideas are springing up in old buildings around the country.
In the Fall 2015 issue of Preservation, we took you inside Impact Hub Salt Lake. It’s the latest outpost of Impact Hub, an international network of co-working and networking spaces for socially conscious entrepreneurs, community organizers, and nonprofit leaders.
Here, we explore a few other Impact Hubs across the country that are setting up shop in places with history.
The 220 & Change building is a landmark in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood. The 1907 brick and timber building, once a furniture shop, was extensively renovated, leaving exposed brick and metal, massive wood beams and pillars, a huge staircase, and high ceilings. Impact Hub Seattle occupies the first and second floors of the building, and its members include a transportation planner, software developers, writers, arts organizers, consultants, event planners, and life coaches.
In downtown Los Angeles’ hip Arts District neighborhood, a 1934 industrial warehouse building houses Impact Hub Los Angeles. With large meeting spaces, as well as exhibition and events spaces, this hub hosts a number of events, including film screenings, workshops, panels, and mixers. The huge windows in the 8,000-square-foot building let in a ton of natural light for the entrepreneurs and artists who work in the space.
Originally home to a company that manufactured farm equipment, the five-story building at 150 South State Street in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, is now the headquarters of Impact Hub Salt Lake. The building, completed in 1896, underwent a complete renovation before re-opening in May. Many of the original details were left intact, the wood floors were refinished where possible, the joists and brick walls were left exposed, and cast iron columns that had been hidden beneath drywall were uncovered and restored. The city’s bikeshare program and an air quality advocacy group are among the many tenants of this new hub.
The fifth floor of the National Register-listed Traffic Zone building in downtown Minneapolis’ Warehouse District is home to Impact Hub Minneapolis-St. Paul. Since the six-story limestone warehouse building was completed in 1886, it has housed a number of ventures. It was originally a warehouse for storing farm machinery and implements before it was converted into a commercial bakery and then, later, an appliance business. In 1995, the restored building re-opened as the Traffic Zone Center for Visual Art. The Impact Hub, which opened in January, occupies just 4,000 square feet of space, but it hosts a number of entrepreneurial ventures.
Impact Hub New York stretches across three floors -- totaling 15,000 square feet -- of the 394 Broadway building, built in 1920. The hub, located in the Tribeca Historic District, hosts numerous nonprofits, including ones focusing on democratic worker cooperatives and ending poverty, as well as a digital media company, an organic beverages start-up, and a real estate firm dedicated to the development and preservation of quality affordable housing.