The Granary – 29 Union St.
Second Floor Studios Available for Lease
600 square feet
All Utilities Included (except A/C)
$325.00 per Month
The Granary is a 19th Century building that has been remodeled to accommodate those devoted to the arts and to small businesses. All new electrical, heating, insulation and windows have been installed. Efforts were made to preserve and expose the original interior structure of the building.
For Additional Information Contact:
Stephanie Zak Jerome at 802-247-3214
29 Union Street
Brandon, Vermont 05733
From the Addison Independent, 2006:
AN OLD GRANARY building in Brandon has become an artists’ colony with the help of the building’s co-owner, Brian Jerome.
BRANDON — The transformation of an old mill building on Union Street into a new haven for creative types is solidifying Brandon’s reputation as an inspiring home for artists. In the past several months a collection of visual artists and a magazine publishing company have set up work spaces in the century-old granary building at 29 Union St. The building’s owners hope to fill out their list of tenants with more of the same and the artists couldn’t be more pleased.
“This is the second best thing that has happened here, the Brandon Artists’ Guild was the first thing,” said well-known artist Warren Kimble, who has a studio in building, which is being called The Granary. “Now we can have an ‘artists walk’ (an occasional showing) right here in Brandon and possibly open our studios to the public — this is really good stuff for all of us.”
A BUILDING’S REVIVAL
Brandon has been going through a well-publicized renaissance, but not many are aware of the small renaissance going on in this old granary. The building was originally owned by General Mills and was used during the 1950s and ’60s as place to grind grain into feed.
Over the past 40 years, the Granary has housed artisans who work with their hands. Harmon Thurston of New England Woodcraft moved his business into the building in 1970. Then Carl Fjeld, another woodworker who owns High Pond Woodworking, operated out of the building for a time before moving to Forestdale.
Brian and Stephanie Jerome bought the building a little more than two years ago with no immediate plans for its use.
The couple had renovated an old cinderblock building across the street as the location of their business, Visual Learning Co.. They started the business about eight years ago to make science videos for the classroom.
Across the railroad tracks from Visual Learning sits The Granary — a large old warehouse building that from the outside looks quite nondescript. Upon entering, however, anyone who enjoys large, open, old and enduring spaces that hold a tremendous amount of character and history will be immediately drawn in.
The Jeromes bought the granary when they thought they might need the extra space for their business. However, due to increased use of DVDs and the Internet’s ability to transmit streaming video, the Jeromes no longer saw the need for additional space.
About that time, Brandon artist Liza Myers was looking for new studio space. Myers and Jim Germond, who own a building on Center Street where Myers has her gallery with studio space and where Germond operates a framing business, both needed additional space and considered The Granary.
When Myers approached Jerome it was initially to house some of the overflow of her work and materials, however upon closer inspection Myers saw the creative possibilities. Myers could not have known then that she was setting the new artistic tone for the building.
Timing being everything, as in life, Kimble was selling his farm and studio on Arnold District Road and moving back onto Park Street where he had lived years ago. Kimble was also in need of new studio space and approached the Jeromes as well.
“Brian and I had talked (of a similar idea) about a year ago when he bought the building,” Kimble said, adding that there are “many artists in town who need space to work.” Although busy with his own business, Jerome has been pleased with the new development of the building.“It has all happened very quickly, just in the space of a couple months,” Jerome said.
Brian and Stephanie Jerome peeled off layers of history down to all the old beams and columns. They have reused whatever materials they could, including old bead board. The building has been completely rewired, new plumbing and insulation has been installed, and the heating is just about to be finished — just in time for the fall.
The space has been divided according to the needs of each tenant, and each resident has been fitted with energy efficient, full spectrum lighting. One of the nicest developments, Jerome said, was the installation of more windows in areas boarded up years ago.
“The large space available on the downstairs will be flooded with light from five windows,” he said.
Myers, the first artist-tenant of The Granary, is grateful for Jerome’s vision, adding that area artists “feel lucky that we can all afford to be here and be together.”
The Jeromes made every effort to keep their own costs down so that they could keep the rent low. “We wanted to make it affordable, try to rent the whole thing and just cover our costs. I don’t think that people could afford it if the rent was at market value,” Jerome said.
The building is filling up quickly as word passes quickly.
“We have all known each other for a long time from the artists guild,” Kimble explained. “We’re looking forward to working together. We all grow from each other and we like to socialize together … Many of us are from different backgrounds, but we all get along very well.”
A GROWING COMMUNITY
Jackee Foley and Colienne Moore, also members of the Brandon Artists’ Guild, followed soon after Myers and Kimble. “It draws us together,” Foley said. “It’s subtle — we all inspire each other and love being together in a noncompetitive way.”
The Brandon community wants to make the town a destination town without losing its natural charm and small town feeling, added Moore. “The community here is very supportive of the artists.” Mark and Becky Zelis, artists who have recently moved to Brandon from Chicago, have a double unit. Melissa Strauss, who does a lot of interior decorating work, is in the process of moving in and plans to use upstairs space to focus on large, canvass, floor coverings.
Myers seems to speak for the group when she describes the atmosphere: “It’s a perfect place to get your work done and have the support and friendship of the other artists. It is human too … many of us have known and respected each other for a long time — we are a very welcoming community.