Lowertown Lofts Artists Cooperative
(Previously known as: Weyerhauser-Denkman Building, 255 E. Kellogg Boulevard)
This five-story brick building combines classical features such as keystones, a cast iron storefront with dentils and Greek key molding with more Victorian elements such as the corbelled brickwork above the fourth story windows. The bays of the second through fourth floors are divided by brick pilasters, which are topped by rounded arches with keystones. The building was built in 1901 at a cost of $80,000 and was designed by Louis Lockwood, a talented St . Paul architect who was born in England. The building is one of a group that defines the southern edge of the Lowertown district. It was constructed for the Weyerhauser-Denkman Company though the original name of the building is not known. The building had several tenants through the years. It was the home of the Koehler and Hinrichs Company which specialized in restaurant and hotel supplies and "fancy groceries" and which had been located previously in the building at 235-237 E. 5th Street. Another occupant of the building was the Scheffer and Rossum Company, dealers in leather and saddlerey, who had been located previously at 4th and Jackson Streets. The base of the building was altered somewhat when this section of Kellogg Boulevard was graded lower.
In 1985, the Lowertown Lofts Cooperative, a group of 29 artists and their families and a project of the St. Paul Art Collective, moved into the building. Occupying floors 3, 4 and 5, the cooperative is a national model for affordable, limited equity, code compliant yet flexible space for making art and living together in community. The atrium is one of the best exhibition spaces in Lowertown and provides room for performance, meetings and art exhibitions.
One of the oldest artist cooperatives, Lowertown Lofts is an anchor for an ever-growing arts community. The artists were able to buy out all other partners invested in the building many years ago and represent one of a few ownership opportunities for artists.