"We came together and said 'let's start an art venue, to where we can start a space for artists in our city to come together, collaborate, to create," says Beau Walker of St. Joseph.
Walker is working with Rick Gilmore, the new owner of the building at 107 S. 6th street. Rick will eventually develop the upper floors into loft apartments, But the first floor and mezzanine will be home to a coffee shop, a place to show art, have seating and a stage.
"If they're a documentarian, they'll be able to show their film," Walker says. "If they're a band, they'll be able to play. We're hoping that especially with our local scene that they'll do that and also engage people and ask some questions and even mentor some of the younger kids."
Over the past 120 years, this iconic building has been home to dozens of different businesses. In recent years it's been a laser tag maze, an indoor archery range, a haunted house and numerous bars and nightclubs. The new facility will not be serving alcohol.
"A lot of the artists have already contacted us," Walker says. "I think they are going to be the driving force behind this."
Gilmore was excited to buy the building and put it back to good use. "It'll be good for the city and good for downtown. It'll be an example of a lot of the beauty that's left in these buildings down here," he says.
It's a labor of love for Walker, who is looking for funding and donations from the community to make Paradox a reality.
"You stand back and you look at a project like this and you say there's no way that one person can pull this off. But as a community, we can pull this off," he says.
Walker is looking to raise $30,000 to get Paradox completed. You can learn more or donate to Paradox online by clicking here.