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News

Published by the Goodman Community Center

Volume 146, No. 3 May l June 2016

East side design firm looks to the past to inform the future

View our past Eastside News issues online.

Zebradog on Willy Street creates evocative high-tech displays Jean Rawson, Eastside News

An iconic building on Williamson Street — one that evokes the early days of Madison’s east side — contains a business whose mission mirrors its home. Zebradog — a “dynamic environmental design” firm — “designs what is unseen to help you feel what is seen,” according to its web page. “We help large organizations all over the world express themselves through their storytelling,” explained Mark Schmitz, who founded the company in 1992. While many of the firm’s projects help newer organizations create an aura around their brand to appeal to clients, Schmitz’s passion is for stories that reach back into history to flavor the present and future. The building that Zebradog moved into in 2012, at 1249 Williamson St., is itself a vital part of the history of Madison’s east side. It was the city’s first branch library, built in 1912-13 with a grant from Andrew Carnegie and designed by Madison architects Claude and Starck. The architects designed more than 175 buildings in Madison between 1896 and 1928. The Lincoln School Apartments, Breese Stevens Field, the Castle and Doyle Coal Company storefront on State Street, and the Jackman Building just off the Square on South Hamilton, are but a few examples of Claude and Starck projects that still lend character to the cityscape. The city’s first main library, also funded by Carnegie, opened off the Capitol Square in 1905 (the building no longer stands). However, a boom in industrial and residential construction on Madison’s east side led Carnegie to grant Madison additional funds to es-

PHOTO: KATHLEEN WARD

We’re using ISSUU, a snazzy new system for easy browsing of past Eastside News issues. You’ll be able to navigate pages quickly, search the paper by key words and share articles on social media. To view our archive, visit goodmancenter.org/services/esn-archive.

Plans being developed for Brass Works building Neighbors and frequenters of Goodman Community Center learned about its plans for the Brass Works building. Programming at GCC has tripled since moving into its current facility, so the Brass Works building was purchased to provide additional space. Article on page 13.

Make way for the Makers Movement

Zebradog founder and creative director Mark Schmitz stands outside their Williamson Street office, former site of Madison’s first Carnegie Library. tablish a branch library on Williamson Street. Prior to that time, “the Madison Free Library served east side factory workers and their families by placing shelves of books in neighborhood groceries,” according to East Side History Club records. Zebradog completely renovated the building’s interior before moving into it in 2012, installing modern electric wiring, plumbing and heating throughout, while exposing some of the interesting “bones” of the place — brick walls, wood inlays for attaching bookshelves and ceiling structure. The renovation will keep the building sound and useful for decades to come. It’s “preservation through renovation,” Schmitz explained.

Under the vaulted ceiling of the old library, about 20 professionals work on projects for as far away as Saudi Arabia and as nearby as La Crosse and Wisconsin Dells. The staff includes industrial and interior architects and designers, graphic artists, writers, historians and experts in creating interactive, experiential displays. To experience firsthand the work that Zebradog does, a trip to Livsreise in Stoughton makes for an enjoyable Saturday outing. Livsreise (pronounced lifs-rye-sa), which translates to “life’s journey,” is a Norwegian heritage center that opened last year on Norwegian Independence Day — Syttende Mai.

One-One Thousand provides resources to artisans and craftspeople who want to take their hobby to a higher level or turn it into a vocation. The Makers Movement has been referred to as the next industrial revolution where artists, craftspeople and designers can work together to improve skills or start a business. Article on page 17

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Goodman mural project envisions a better world Over a year ago, east side teen Tony Robinson was shot and killed. This tragedy inspired a group of O’Keeffe Middle-Schoolers to honor Robinson and two other youths, Mindy Fabian and Skylar Marcus Lee. Their plan is to create a mural and mural-inspired T-shirts to honor the trio. Article on page 6

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Profile for Eastside News

Eastside News May-June 2016  

The Eastside News (ESN) newspaper is published six times a year by the Goodman Community Center. We publish news and information about event...

Eastside News May-June 2016  

The Eastside News (ESN) newspaper is published six times a year by the Goodman Community Center. We publish news and information about event...

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