commercial street

Architecture students to present vision for C-Street development

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 8, 2017 — Drury University architecture students will present their vision for redesigning and revitalizing Springfield’s historic Commercial Street district to C-Street stakeholders and members of the community next week. Presentations will be held at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 12, at the Drury On C-Street Gallery. The event is open to the public.

The presentations come at the conclusion of a semester of research and preparation by Hammons School of Architecture students. Nine students were involved in redesigning different aspects of the area through the Center for Community Studies. The Center allows students to gain hands-on experience outside the classroom by working with community members on diverse design and planning problems.

Some of the ideas put forth in the vision for Commercial Street include a year-round multi-purpose event pavilion at the C-Street Plaza, a rooftop event and observation area adjoining the Jefferson Avenue Footbridge, and scenic archway entrances located at either end of the district. Students also reimagined how alleyways like Blaine Street and Frisco Lane might be put to better use.

The goal of the redesign is to further develop Commercial Street into an economically thriving place for community activity and socialization throughout the year. Though the projects are only ideas for now, members of the Commercial Street Community Improvement District and Commercial Club hope that funding can be found to make the improvements a reality.


Media Contact: Jay Garrot, Professor of architecture; director of the Center for Community Studies: (417) 873-7371 or

Three artists studying at Drury form business partnership

Rebekah Polly, Justin Gault and Adrienne Klotz-Floyd know it can be tough to go it alone as an artist. That’s why the trio has teamed up and housed their three business ventures in a combined space on Commercial Street.

They met as students in Drury’s Summer Institute for Visual Arts (SIVA), a three-summer program offering a master’s degree in studio art and theory. The program is distinct in the Midwest thanks to its rotating slate of visiting artist fellows.

(From left) Polly, Gault and Klotz-Floyd

(From left) Polly, Gault and Klotz-Floyd

The three all had art careers before entering SIVA. While their partnership wasn’t borne directly out of their classwork, they credit the synergistic spirit of the program with helping them not just cross paths but combine efforts.

“It’s because of the program and meeting these two that I can do this,” says Klotz-Floyd, who specializes in streetscape and portrait photography. “I couldn’t have done it on my own. The risk is too great.”

Gault is a painter who specializes in richly textured abstract work. Polly is a former teacher who is now offering a variety of classes. Her business is called Artivities, and that’s the name on the marquee of the building at 209 W. Commercial St.

While all three entities have a distinct identity and purpose, they all benefit creatively and financially from being in a single space. They gain exposure among customers and during events such as art walks. They share overhead costs and worked together to rehab the building before moving in. These are for-profit businesses, not a nonprofit or an art collective.

The SIVA program helped them connect to each other, to other artists in the region and to the visiting artist fellows who are known nationally and internationally. That sense of community – whether in the classroom or on C-Street – has an almost “therapeutic” effect, Polly says. As R.B. Kita famously said, “Art does not exist in a vacuum.”

“It’s an interesting, unique and necessary synergy happening here,” Gault says. “I’ve been looking for this to happen in my life for a long time now.”


Story by Mike Brothers, Drury’s director of media relations. A version of this story first appeared in the Springfield News-Leader.

Valentine’s Day Gift Gallery opening organized by Drury students

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.Drury University’s Arts Administration students are hosting Heartstrings, an art and gift gallery opening during the C-Street Stroll, from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1, at the Drury on C-Street Art Gallery, located at 233 E. Commercial Street. Works featured in the gallery include items ranging from fiber arts to photography to jewelry, all created by local artists. The students will provide complimentary refreshments, live music, and a free custom card making station. Drury on C-Street Gallery is providing a chance for residents and students of Springfield to find unique and one-of-a-kind gifts for Valentine’s Day as well as supporting local artists in buying something special for their home or office.

Heartstrings is the second gallery display the current Arts Administration Practicum class has planned, organized, and showcased this school year. Tarryn Gritzner, Rachel Hutchison, Christine West, and Ricky Reid are in charge of facilitating every aspect of the gallery opening, from theme to staffing to marketing. Community members are invited to come and appreciate the efforts of the students and create handmade, personalized cards for that special someone, providing the perfect companion to a Valentine’s Day gift for anyone on the list.

Rachel Hutchison, one of the arts administration students working on this gallery, relays the significance of the experience: “During this spring semester, teams of arts administration students are assigned the task of collecting artists, organizing the gallery, and hosting the C-Street Stroll opening event. It is a fun and challenging way to apply the skills we learn during class to the real-world experience of running an art gallery.”

Drury on C-Street is a collaborative space used by Arts Administration students and the Drury Architecture program and contains the Commercial Street Business Resource Center, the Harriet Mears Weaving Studio, an architecture studio, and the Drury on C-Street Gallery. This new addition to the growing economy of Commercial Street provides a space where students and local residents can connect and share an interest in artistic endeavors. The space also houses activities such as an art and music class for special needs children living in the area. Increased local interest has been budding with excitement of the potential this unique space provides for the Springfield community.


Drury architecture students develop a co-op booth on C-Street

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 31, 2011 — Six years ago, Drury architecture students designed and built the pavilion that shelters the C-Street Market on Commercial Street. This summer, a new crop of Drury students will design and construct a co-op booth adjacent to the C-Street Market Pavilion at the intersection of Jefferson and Commercial Street.

The booth the students construct must be moveable, contain storage and function as both a produce stand and a ticket booth for concerts and events. The students are striving to create a C-Street Market Co-op Booth that is both of and for the community.

“We are honored to be invited back to C-Street for another Design/Build project. Opportunities for students to put their design skills to the test and build full-scale projects for charities or communities in need are priceless educational experiences,” said Traci Sooter, Drury associate professor of architecture.

Drury has a long history of supporting and promoting the revitalization of Commercial Street. The C-Street Market is a committee of Commercial Club of Springfield. The club partnered with The Kitchen Inc. and has been approved for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to fund a Market Master position to manage the C-Street market, as well as some marketing and promotional materials, which will include signage for the new co-op booth.

Drury students started working on the booth on May 16, and will continue to work Monday through Friday with plans to install the booth at the C-Street Market on June 3. A dedication celebration is scheduled for Saturday, June 11 at noon.

Media Contact:
Traci Sooter, AIA
Associate Professor of Architecture
Office: (417) 873-7416