Over a year ago, Bar Bar, Inc., a private company owned by Bingo and Sally Barnes, purchased a building located between 5th and 6th Streets on Broad Street. This building, built originally sometime during the 1950s, had seen a variety of businesses inhabit its space. At one time or another it had been an auto parts store, a beauty supply store, a school, a children's daycare, a bar, a warehouse and most recently half the building has been The Venue--an all ages space for young people to come see great touring bands. In June this year, the tenants in the front of the building moved out and Bar Bar, Inc.'s construction crew moved in, readying the space for an August move into the space for the staff of Boise Weekly. In effect, the move would triple the square footage of the old 4th Street office spaces, give BW a brand new look, improve our morale, give us not one, but two of our own bathrooms, a kitchen, a conference room and a lounge. It gave us room to breathe and grow in the next decade into a stronger, bigger, better independent newspaper.
Bar Bar, Inc. tapped Cathy Sewell, a local architect (and a writer of the Home Sweet Home column for Boise Weekly) to come up with a remodel design that worked for us. The challenge was a big one with a limited budget--a budget that eventually grew to twice its original size. Here are a series of before and after photos which takes you through the space.
The front of the building wasn't changed much at all, other than a new matte metallic skin (shown at right) over the old Western-styled add on (above). Grey-blue paint on the cinderblock construction and a fantastic new sign by Classic Signs (just down the block) finished off the new facade. At right is the moment that publisher Sally Barnes cut the ribbon for our new building grand opening that the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce hosted. The party raged into the evening. If you would like to see what the fantastic indirect glow from the red neon looks like on the sign, just drive by the corner of 6th and Broad Streets after dark.
The ceiling throughout the space was torn out, and in some areas the rafters, too. The back part of the building had a peaked room which was elevated and, with the addition of skylights, added natural light to the space. Exposed plywood on the ceilings offers a natural look and cable trays for networking allows for easy access and flexibility. Indirect/direct flourescent lighting give a soft glow to everything. The use of Polygal plastic panels allows light to pass through into hallways, offices and the conference room.