Update: Protohaven moves open meeting to TechShop

Anyone with interest in the new nonprofit maker space can attend.

tech shop
mj slaby / the incline
MJ Slaby

Updated: Aug. 30, 1:30 p.m.

The meeting for the new nonprofit Protohaven has been moved from 7800 Susquehanna St. in Homewood to TechShop Pittsburgh’s current location in Larimer’s Bakery Square, Devin Montgomery, a founder of the new maker space, told The Incline Wednesday.

It will still be held at 7:30 p.m. and is open to anyone interested in Protohaven. Montgomery didn’t elaborate on the reason for the venue change, but said the meeting will include general updates about Protohaven such as site considerations and a member-led fundraising campaign.

Original post

Protohaven, a new nonprofit that plans to replace TechShop Pittsburgh, may have found a location in Homewood.

Last week, Gadsden Merrill, TechShop Pittsburgh’s general manager, and TechShop member Devin Montgomery filed paperwork to create a nonprofit maker space that would continue the work of TechShop Pittsburgh after it closes Sept. 30.

Montgomery said TechShop members and anyone interested in Protohaven are invited to see the maker space’s potential home — the fifth floor of 7800 Susquehanna St. in Homewood — at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The building, a former Westinghouse Electric facility built in the 1920s, is owned by Bridgeway Capital, which provides loans to small businesses and nonprofits. The company confirmed that Protohaven toured available space in the building and plans to hold a Wednesday tour.

7800 Building (1 of 2)

7800 Susquehanna Street

Emily Walley / Bridgeway Capital

Montgomery said the location is not set in stone, but called the space a “strong contender.” He said he envisions Protohaven as being a resource to the makers who are already in the 7800 Susquehanna building, as well as an accessible location for current TechShop members.

Plus, he said the location is convenient to the Homewood community and would allow for equitable access to the space.

If this space is selected, Protohaven will have the entire top floor of the building, which is more than 20,000 square feet, per Montgomery. He said Wednesday’s meeting is a way for people to imagine possibilities for the new space.

The building is already home to multiple startup companies, artists and community organizations including BoXZY, which got its start at TechShop; that company’s creator, Joel Johnson, has strongly advocated to save the maker space.

Since the shop’s closure was first announced in May, members have met weekly to find a way to keep the space open. The nonprofit was born from those conversations.

Montgomery said the plan is to move Protohaven from the TechShop location in Larimer to a new space in October.