ST. LOUIS — There are efforts being made across the St. Louis region to bring new life to old places. A church built in the 1800s in north city is one of those places.
The building towers over the St. Louis landscape.
“Sixty-five-feet from the floor to the ceiling. It’s just an incredible building,” David Blum told 5 On Your Side.
Once inside the doors, you’ll notice signs of the church’s past. There are religious paintings above the archways. But St. Liborius serves new parishioners now.
“Under served urban youth is the new the new congregation here,” said Blum.
Blum and his partners are the people behind SK8 Liborius. They’ve turned the interior of the historic landmark into a skatepark and art gallery.
“This is a giant building. A lot of opportunities for anything here but obviously a skatepark is where I was going with it,” laughed Brian Bedwell.
The renovation has been the ultimate DYI project.
“Working on trying to save the building for 10 years. We all really deeply care about it,” said Blum.
“It’s something that’s close to my heart,” said Joss Hay.
They care about the restoration of the building that was first finished in 1889.
“I think we’re showing that you can reclaim old buildings and turn them into really positive spaces,” said Hay.
They believe SK8 Liborius can bring a positive vibe to the neighborhood in more ways than one. The future of the place will include a community center and workshops.
“Somewhere that they can come where they can be safe, where they can be inspired,” explained Hay.
“So that people will have the opportunity to find out what your passion is. Those lack of opportunities is just this massive loss of creative potential, not just for like our city but for like the world in general,” said Blum.
They are closing in on their overall vision.
“But we still have a long way to go,” said Blum.
They’re not about to give up because they want to do this for the north city neighborhood and for the City of St. Louis.
“St. Louis needs epic stuff because it is an epic city,” explained Blum.
They are now reaching out for community support through their nonprofit to complete the major repairs. If you would like to help, visit their GoFundMe page.