A Dayton couple is hoping to turn a downtown building with bones dating back to the 1890’s into a hall for rock shows and other events.
Carli and Hamilton Dixon are renovating their property at 905 E. Third St. for The Brightside Music and Event Venue.
The 8,000-square-foot space behind Bloombeads by Freezeframe, Carli Dixon’s floral preservation business, previously held The Venue on 3rd.
Dixon, a mother of two, sees great potential in the venue for shows targeting both adults and teenagers.
There is a void to fill, she said.
“There are music shows that should be happening in Dayton and they are not,” Carli Dixon said. “They are too big for a bar or too small for the Schuster Center of Victoria (Theatre.)”
The Dixons have launched a YouCaring crowdfunding campaign to raise $50,00 of the $100,000 it will take to upgrade the space.
Most of the improvements would address accessibility and safety issues, including a lift to the stage for those living with disabilities and a sprinkler system, Carli Dixon said.
Renovating the large open space has been a labor of love meant to breathe life back into a historic building, she said.
“We don’t have any backers. It is us and our credit card and elbow grease,” Carli Dixon added.
The building had been used as a homeless shelter and donation center before the couple purchased it and two other buildings in 2009. Hamilton Dixon’s art studio is in one of the other buildings.
If all goes as planned, the venue will be ready for bookings in April or May. The building already has a usable bar which is in a separate room as well as a kitchen.
Dixon said that nonprofits, brides and grooms, and others seeking a venue will be able to select their own caterers.
The Dixons plan to research the building history. So far they have learned it was used to store coal.
They found large red signs that spell “Vod-Vil,” an alternative spelling of “vaudeville,” in the space’s wood beam, and wondered what the signs meant for the building’s history.
“Was it a speakeasy?” Carli wonders.
Hamilton Dixon says the signs once held neon lights. He plans to hang one of them in the bar area.