This interview will be on “St. Louis on the Air” on Monday noon. This story will be updated after the show. You can Listen live.
St. Liborius began serving German Roman Catholics in northern St. Louis in 1856. After closing 136 years later, Karen House operated a homeless shelter on site. Maintaining the building became too difficult for the Catholic Worker House, so she handed over the keys to the church to an unlikely group. And over the past 10 years, the walls of the church have seen a different crowd.
âUnderserved urban youth are now the congregation,â said Dave Blum.
Blum transformed the historic Northern Church of St. Louis into Sk8 Liborius, an indoor skate park. Panels of religious designs are now juxtaposed with graffiti and skate ramps.
Alongside Bryan Bedwell and Joss Hay, Blum built the reputation of the skate church without ever officially opening the place to the public. They’ve run lots of skate sessions – and raves – for the underground skate scene, without getting much attention from city officials.
But now the trio are ready to open up the place for official business. They want to turn the space into an art center, guesthouse, and crafting space to teach kids a variety of skills including skating, welding, woodworking and more. The three founders recently started a fundraiser to get the building up to code.
Monday Saint Louis on the air, Blum and Bedwell will join host Sarah Fenske in explaining how they turned the space into a destination for skaters, musicians and artists from across the country. The program will also include commentary from Hay and reflections from local skaters on their experiences within the Church of Skateboarding.
Have you been inside Sk8 Liborius? What is a memory you will always cherish there? Tweet us (@STlonAir), send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or share your impressions via our Saint Louis on the air Facebook group, and help inform our coverage.
“Saint Louis on the airâBrings you the stories of Saint-Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah fenske and produced by Alex heuer, Emily woodbury, Evie hemphill and Lara hamdan. Jane Mather-Glass is our production assistant. The sound engineer is Aaron Doerr.