Granite City Art and Design District
Fall into an urban explorer’s wonderland in a place imagined by both artists and horticulturists. Where once there was only decay, dedicated Granite City residents and visitors have been hard at work revitalizing an area long deserted.
Centered on a set of abandoned buildings and lots downtown, the Granite City Arts and Design District non-profit are redeveloping the site as garden space complete with outdoor sculptures and multiple art galleries.
The city and nonprofit have been breathing new life into the abandoned shopping district, turning once junk-filled ruins into natural park land filled with wildflowers, walking trails, and reimagined buildings.
Art studios have moved into the old buildings once inhabited only by curious mice. Galen Gondolfi, founding father of the Metro East non-profit institution “Granite City Art and Design District”, says, “It’s a reimagining of a main street city block. On one hand you can come to an art show. On another you literally can tour botanical gardens. Or even buy plants. It’s a defacto public park.”
The site is not yet complete but, after thousands of hours of volunteer work, hope has blossomed in the formerly unusable district. “It’s a new interpretation of Granite City,” says Gondolfi, “as opposed to merely being a steel town.”