by Michael R. Allen
Nearly half a year after Gallery Urbis Orbis closed, its storefront space at 419 N. 10th Street in downtown St. Louis in finally going commercial again. This week, workers wrapped the windows in paper and banners marking the relocation of the Casa Semplice store to this space.
Some people may recall when this space was the front end of a large, cavernous used office furniture and equipment store. I remember looking for a desk there. This store operated there for over a decade until developer Craig Heller purchased the building in 1998. Urbis Orbis opened its doors there in late 2003 and brought art and civics to the storefront until December 31, 2005. After the departure of the gallery, the space gave life to art for several temporary exhibits. Kudos to Craig Heller for being willing to let the space drag out its non-profit days.