Wild at Ivywild

I had not yet been set loose upon the world on Jan. 1, 1954. That blessed event occurred nearly three months later, on March 27, in the hospital at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

As family legend has it, Mom’s obstetrician, upon learning I was to be named Patrick Declan O’Grady, proposed inducing labor to get me born on St. Patrick’s Day. Mom declined, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Out west in Colorado Springs, the Ivywild School was already open for business, and had been for years. In fact, it was one year older than my old man, who was born in 1917 in Bogalusa, La.

I didn’t attend Ivywild — by the time we got here in 1967, I was a ninth grader, and anyway, after a brief flirtation with a bomb-shelter-equipped home in the Skyway area we settled well outside downtown proper in what a newspaper colleague would later confirm was most emphatically not part of Colorado Springs, our suburban trilevel being well east of Hancock Avenue.

Ivywild gave up the ghost as a school in 2009, but was reborn recently thanks to local entrepreneurs Joe Coleman and Mike Bristol, who turned the picturesque old pile into the new home of Bristol Brewing, plus a number of other ventures: The Principal’s Office (booze and java); The Meat Locker (deli and charcuterie); Old School Bakery (breads and pastries); Hunt or Gather (seasonal foods from area farmers); Bicycle Experience (the second location of a neighborhood shop); and office space.

I hadn’t conducted an inspection tour since Ivywild’s resurrection, but last night Herself and I, along with a neighbor and the latest tenants of The House Back East®, dropped in to scope out a New Year’s Eve bash in the gym (think back-in-the-day sock hop, but with the booze actually sold on site, plus more and older wastrels).

It was pretty damned impressive, as you can see from the pix if you clicked the link above. The music was less so — the gym was a mighty small space, with either an indifferent sound system, poor mixing or a combination of the two, plus lots of chatter in the audience — but still, chapeau to all involved in making the Ivywild revival happen.

Ivywild is a welcome reminder that it’s not all Industrial Christianity and LiberTea here in Bibleburg. I plan on sentencing myself to a few rounds of detention there in 2014.

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6 Responses to “Wild at Ivywild”

  1. Libby Says:

    It’s always good to see a property rehabbed and become useful again. Can’t see the photos. I hope the place flourishes and you continue to enjoy the venue.

  2. Steve O Says:

    I can see kids volunteering for detention here.

  3. John O Says:

    Only bad thing is if I want to drink real alcohol and you’ns beer we can’t be in the same half of the building. Not that it bad for either party.

  4. Derek Lenahan Says:

    I have had both decent and great food there. No complaints on the nice remodel or the beer either. Plus they are dog friendly, sorta. Hard to find these days.

  5. Derek Lenahan Says:

    Speaking of detention it was a bummer for me in my high school days when they stopped suspending you and started putting you in Saturday school. Talk about shock value the first time it happened I just about went into cardiac arrest.

  6. Herb Says:

    Told ya! I sent you an email after I visited there Thanksgiving and was knocked out by the whole project. Lots of building rehab going on back here in Detroit too. About time we stopped sprawling across every square inch of suburbia and utilized these great old buildings. Put beer in the equation and how can you lose?

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