Crews have begun tearing down the former Mar-Vel Marble building at 2nd Avenue South and Main Street store to make room for a new arts center planned by Edmonds’ businesswomen Tracy Felix and Mary Olsen.
The demolition started late Tuesday afternoon and by Wedneday morning, heavy equipment was tearing into the walls of a building that had housed a fabricating plant and showroom for cultured marble, onyx and granite products for over 30 years.
My Edmonds News ran an exclusive feature this past May by Felix in which she explains to readers the vision that she and Olsen share in bringing an art center to downtown Edmonds. In February, we broke the story that outlined the formation of Art Start Northwest, a non-profit arts education foundation that will “bring art education to those who can not afford private classes and into the classrooms at our local schools,” according to Felix, who is co-owner of ARTspot Arts & Crafts Supply store.
In forming Art Start Northwest, “We wanted to keep the mission statement wide open so we could grow our program to encompass any aspect of need in the community,” Olsen told My Edmonds News in February. “This is an intentional commitment for me to fulfill my dream to make art accessible to many people. I am especially interested in supporting teachers who want to bring art into their classrooms.”
My Edmonds News writer Janette Turner reported in April the permit application specifications of the new arts center: “The posted permit application states the “design is for a new two story building over a one level underground garage. The ground floor will include an art institute with space for artists to create art and a gallery for their art to be displayed. There will also be a café with indoor and outdoor seating. The second level will include more artist spaces and three, two-bedroom apartments.”
— By Emily Hill