Urban layers: The ancient unknown courtyard behind The Root (where Ace Loan used to be) has been opened to access — eventually.


This story ends with a view of outdoor space that  few folks in this town have seen for many decades, but it begins with this tale of coworking space.

May 19, 2017: The Root (coworking space) coming to the building where Ace Loan used to be.

The reclamation project began almost exactly two years ago.

You know, that building where Ace Loan & Sporting Goods used to be (110 E Market St).

More power to the Morrisseys, but let’s not forget Steve Resch’s vision.

New Albany coworking space to give independent workers a place to thrive, by Danielle Grady (News and Tribune)

The Root’s owners now have their financing together, and the building at 110 E. Market is to be readied for occupancy in the spring of 2018.

For decades, Ace Loan & Sporting Goods occupied this building, but used only the first floor. Not only did Ace’s owner leave the top two floors vacant; he removed the stairs and never sat foot in them.

Similarly, he didn’t venture into the courtyard out back. In fact, almost no one in New Albany realizes there is a courtyard out back.

Until the past two days, it could be accessed only through the former Smith’s Furniture (now Todd Coleman’s Classic Home Furnishings).

All this will make better sense after we’ve slipped down the alley, past the future Pints&Union rehabilitation …

 … to where, in the distant past, two small additions were tacked onto 114 and 110 E. Market. This week, Resch Construction removed them. First, three views from Monday. The slightly truncated Pints&Union is to the right.

Then, earlier today.

I wasn’t aware that in the early 1980s, a rear portion of one of the brick structures comprising the old Smith’s Furniture caved in. What’s left of the base can be seen in the final photo; it looks like a wall stretching from left to right across the courtyard.

The damage was sealed with the dark vertical metal sheeting. Resch plans to rebuild the north-south separating brick wall to a height of (circa) 15 feet, creating a cozy outdoor space behind The Root.

Just as importantly, this new opening from the alley allows access to the rear of 110 E. Market for Resch to finish The Root’s build-out.

Consider this: in a two-and-a-half block stretch on the south side of Market Street, Dragon King’s Daughter is renovating the old Wolf’s Market; the Hitching Post Tavern is almost finished being rebuilt after a fire; La Tiendita recently expanded its business; The Root is coming, and shortly thereafter (cross your fingers), Pints & Union.

Indies and entrepreneurs, all. That’s the most exciting part.