804-1/2 Wealthy was a great space, one that contained a lot of history and creativity. Kelly and I could tell this right away when we moved there in 1995. We lived in the eastern apartment, as I believe most of the residents did. Kelly used the western apartment as her art studio.
While we were living there, Kelly and I ran Urban Produce (UP), an inner-city gardening initiative for at-risk kids from the surrounding neighborhood. So, in addition to Kelly's studio, we used the western apartment as the indoor home of UP. The kids met there throughout the year to plan their gardens, receive tutoring for homework and even learn parliamentary procedure to run their own meetings. The kids also discussed City Kids BBQ Sauce, a product they helped create and sold at grocery stores in order to raise funds for educational scholarships.
The adjacent lot to the south of 804-1/2 Wealthy was vacant at the time, and the kids had one of their organic gardens there. Their largest garden was located just around the corner on a vacant lot on Sigsbee, and the third garden was on Baxter Street. The kids sold their fresh-picked produce every summer and fall Saturday in front of the Harvest Health grocery store down Eastern Avenue. They also sold it to the nearby Gaia Coffee House and the East Town Co-op.
Since so many artists had lived at 804-1/2 Wealthy, the space had a great deal of character. It was filled with art created and left by past occupants, and here and there were wonderful drawings on the wall and carvings in the wood. The apartments also held a great collection of old chairs, tables, books, couches, tools and other items left and handed down from people who had lived and worked there in the past.
Kelly and I moved from 804-1/2 Wealthy in December 1996, glad at having the opportunity to enjoy the space.
-- Jonathan VanderBrug