Sorry to Ethan Stowell and the other food and drink barons of Capitol Hill on a seemingly neverending quest for new spaces to conquer — 15th Ave E’s old fire station will not be yours.
Station 7, a “really fun art gallery with furniture, jewelry, and home goods,” will open this spring in the ground floor of the brick building at 15th Ave E and E Harrison formerly home to On 15th Video.
“I really wanted it to be close to home,” Danielle Yoakum Tilden tells CHS. “I wanted it to be a neighborhood thing.”
North Capitol Hiller Yoakum Tilden is pairing with business partner and jewelry artist Jan Reingold to open the new boutique in the building with solid community roots. In 2010, Environmental Works marked “40 years of sustainable architecture and planning” and the group continues to own the 1920-built building that was originally a fire station but eventually repurposed as the home of Capitol Hill Housing and The Country Doctor Clinic in the early days of the organizations.
After the sudden closure last September of On 15th Video, CHS talked with Capitol Hill Housing reps who were coordinating the search for a new tenant for the fire house. The organization said it was open to new uses for the space but that continuing its run as a home for retail would be the simplest path. In the meanwhile, an art installation at the site has encouraged passersby to share their memories of On 15th, the last video shop on Capitol Hill.
For those who know their 15th Ave E retail history, Yoakum Tilden’s name might ring a few bells. But the first-time retail owner says she isn’t related to the family from the Tilden store that did business on the other side of 15th Ave E for nearly 40 years before the “difficult for children” shop shuttered in 2010. Ethan Stowell, by the way, now runs Rione XIII in the space along with Heather Earnhardt’s Wandering Goose. Yoakum Tilden says she did look at the long-empty 22 Doors space next to where Tilden used to call home but went with the old fire station instead.
Station 7 joins the 15th Ave E commercial village as more change gets ready to play out in the neighborhood. Last month, we reported that the owner of Central District marijuana retailer Uncle Ike’s, a CHS advertiser, had purchased the building home to the veterinarian at 15th and Republican and targeted by another pot entrepreneur as a possible home for his Tok I-502 shop. Meanwhile, construction of a new four-story mixed-use apartment building at 15th and Mercer is slated to be completed later this year and will bring more new business to the blocks. Business owners in the area have formed the 15th Avenue East Merchants Association to better represent their collective interests. In September, the group held its first ever sidewalk festival to celebrate the neighborhood — and do some important research.
When Station 7 opens in May or June, expect an eclectic but comfortable feel “mixing old and new together” that is born of the new business partners’ long friendship.
“We’ve been friends since the kids were little,” Yoakum Tilden said. Now the kids are grown up and helping launch the new store.
Station 7 is under construction at 401 15th Ave E with plans to be open by May if all goes well. You can read more about Reingold’s work here. We’ll keep you posted on when the Station 7 web site is ready for action.