Public Media Commons opens in Grand Center

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The Public Media Commons features two projector screens as well as smaller touch screens along the walls. photo by Cayla Brown

Abigail Fallon | Staff Reporter

September 4, 2014; 11:35 p.m.

Three years ago, a vacant lot stood between The Nine Network of Public Media and St. Louis Public Radio on Olive Street in St. Louis’ Grand Center.

The Public Media Commons features two  projector screens as well as smaller touch screens along the walls. photo by Cayla Brown
The Public Media Commons features two projector screens as well as smaller touch screens along the walls.
photo by Cayla Brown

On Saturday, Sept. 13, the 9,000-square-foot space officially became the Public Media Commons as hundreds of people arrived to take in a video presentation, live music and food truck fare.

Nine Network CEO and President Jack Galmiche said, “We wanted a space that united us, not divided us.” The modern, concrete square is complete with state-of-the-art sound equipment and big-screen projectors.
“The space is meant to inspire innovation,” said Galmiche.

Gary Mills, a former St. Louis resident visiting from Indianapolis, explained that he saw it as a great marketing tool with its “cutting edge” design, which is the product of architects from Amsterdam, Paris and Tokyo.

Saint Louis University alumna and freelance writer Janae Shepherd called it an “incubator space for collaboration,” one that can accommodate various forms of art and music.

The Fox Theater, Sheldon Concert Hall, St. Louis Symphony’s Powell Hall and many more artistic outlets are strategically situated in Grand Center.
Galmiche said the organizers of the project felt that an outdoor gathering place was essential for the 1.5 million people who visit the area each year.

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The video featured CEO and President Jack Galmiche explaining the idea and process behind the Commons . photo by Cayla Brown

The video presentation shown at the grand opening event also said that the Public Media Commons would also serve as “a space to address the issues of the day.” To that end, there will be a microphone situated in the corner of the to allow for public discourse on various topics. Galmiche compared this to London’s “Speakers’ Corner” in Hyde Park and said, “I think that we need things like this in St. Louis.”