If I were going to get a studio space in DC, I’d get one at 52 O Street, where I went to Open Studios this past weekend. The place reminds me of a sewing factory (now converted to fancy retail) on the Chinatown/Little Italy border where I lived when I first moved to New York. Long before I lived there, sculptor Eric Rudd converted 52 O into loft space. According to his website, Rudd, who built 52 O in 1978, now lives in North Adams at Beaver Mill where he has one of the largest private art studios in the world. Artists can still buy a 900 sq ft Beaver Mill loft with large window frontage for $59,500
to $64,500. In 2001 Rudd wrote The Art Studio/Loft Manual: For Ambitious Artists and Creators to help younger artists find and convert old buildings into live/work space. In 2003, Marty Youmans bought 52 O Street and has continued to maintain it as a
community for working artists, although in January some artists got eviction notices to make way for a youth hostel. Whether Youmans will move forward with the plan despite community opposition is unclear.
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