Mini-Flood 19: KDHX

KDHX012

photograph by Amanda Krebel

In November of 2012, we photographed our inaugural Mini-Flood at a building under reconstruction in Grand Center. Once completed, this building became the much lauded Larry J. Weir Center for Independent Media, and the home for St. Louis’ beloved KDHX radio station.

To bookend our earlier exploration, we have returned to the site of Mini-Flood 1 to document its transformation into a full-fledged broadcast facility, live music and film venue, corporate headquarters, and cafe. In addition, we were given access to the space left behind on Magnolia, which still houses subtle traces of its previous 25-year commitment to the culture, minds and ears of St. Louisans.

KDHX005

photograph by Amanda Miller

KDHX001

photograph by Chris Naffziger

KDHX007

photograph by Amanda Miller

KDHX016

photograph by Jason Gray

KDHX008

photograph by Jeni Kulka

If good memories could leave an imprint on a physical space, I imagine that they would be forever embedded into the building at 3504 Magnolia Avenue. For several decades, this location was the nucleus of independent media in St. Louis. Here, the collaborative nature of KDHX was established, which is now an important component of the cultural expression of the city. Over the years, KDHX’s partnerships have brought much to St. Louis; ranging from the impact of listener-supported radio, for which it is best known, to the various festivals it has organized (ie. Twangfest, Midwest Mayhem, etc.), the Double-Helix Corporation’s effect on local art and culture is immeasurable.

KDHX006

photograph by Amanda Miller

KDHX009

photograph by Jeni Kulka

KDHX017

photograph by Jason Gray

KDHX014

photograph by Dan Henrichs Photography, St. Louis

KDHX011

photograph by Amanda Krebel

KDHX015

photograph by Jason Gray

KDHX’s new home at 3524 Washington Avenue, is in the Larry J. Weir Center for Independent Media. The building’s title is a tribute to the radio station’s original Operations Manager and an on-air programmer/personality, who passed away suddenly in 2010 at the age of 57. Of course, this description does not begin to summarize the full scope of Mr. Weir. From the St. Louis Beacon: “Larry Weir’s passion for good songs and his skillful work in broadcasting leave a legacy of diverse successes. He helped many gifted individuals make music for a living. His work for KDHX was instrumental in evolving the folksy concept of Community Radio into a solvent, powerful cultural force in a major media market.”

KDHX004

photograph by Theresa Harter

KDHX013

photograph by Dan Henrichs Photography, St. Louis

KDHX002

photograph by Theresa Harter

KDHX003

photograph by Theresa Harter

KDHX018

photograph by Jason Gray

The new headquarters offers an experience, for followers, performers and volunteers, that was not possible in the space at Magnolia. On the main level, the Magnolia Cafe greets visitors with a variety of food and drinks, eclectic repurposed furnishings, and loads of natural light. Beyond it, The Stage allows KDHX to finally host small shows onsite (a tremendous asset given the popularity of its in-studio sessions). On the floor above, the radio station takes shape with a maze of shelving for CDs and vinyl records, sound booths, editing bays, staff offices, a lounge, and a recording studio. The top floor houses a conference room, a kitchen and commons area, and several offices, including the Director’s.

Having interned for Double-Helix back in 2003, I am beyond elated to see this building take shape. All of the facilities are well designed and seem first-rate (a testament to the volunteers who made it possible); truly, the Larry J. Weir Center for Independent Media is where a group this talented, hard-working and influential deserves to be located.

KDHX020

photograph by Jason Gray

KDHX010

photograph by Jeni Kulka

KDHX019

photograph by Jason Gray

Special thanks to KDHX Executive Director, Beverly Hacker, for allowing us this exciting follow-up opportunity.

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