The neighborhood, on the city’s central south side, is in the news more than it ever has been thanks to a controversial “new” concert venue. I put new in quotes because it’s really an old Sears warehouse. As a kid we loved having the warehouse nearby as it was a ready and endless source of refrigerator boxes to drag home and play in. (While most kids had to build forts from scratch, we had a modular forts right down the street!). Not to mention it had the coldest water fountain for miles and was conveniently located right across the street from a playground we all frequented.
Anyway, after Sears abandoned the building a couple of years ago, a local group of radio stations bought it and turned it into a sort of, mini-convention center type thing. Recalling its roots, they named it The Warehouse.
The Warehouse has been open for several months now and some residents near it aren’t very happy. They complain about traffic and, in the case of some concerts, the noise. The Springfield Journal-Registert has a story on this just today:
But here’s the thing: trains run right through the neighborhood day and night. That’s Amtrak and freight. Horns blaring and rail cars rumbling by. Some of the houses in the neighborhood, like The Warehouse itself, are just a few feet from the tracks. I’m curious as to why these lovers of quiet chose to live near roaring trains.
Noise and traffic continued to be a nuisance Wednesday night for some nearby residents during a sold-out rock concert at The Warehouse, 2548 S. First St.
With 1,500 tickets sold, the concert, which began at 7 p.m. and featured the bands Papa Roach, Skindred and the F-Ups, was the venue's largest to date.
Lori Schisler, a member of the executive board of the Near South Neighborhood
Association who lives in the 2100 block of South Fourth Street, said she
returned home at 7:15 p.m. to find six calls on her answering machine from
neighbors complaining about the noise.
"There was the boom of bass, and animals were barking," she said. "We have to listen to it, and we're tired of it."
Kimberly Clark lives on Bonnie Court, which backs up to north side of The Warehouse's parking lot. She's among those upset about the noise.
"It's ridiculous," she said. "I have to get up at 4 a.m. It's disruptive."
Clark added that she saw vehicles racing down the street and parking in front of people's homes. She said she watched two teenagers smoking marijuana in a vehicle parked in front of hers.
After the concert, Springfield police reported receiving 13 complaints of loud noise. And a man who passed out in a nearby yard was arrested on an outstanding warrant.
Schisler hasn't been impressed.
"I wish they would take a decibel reading inside the building..."
she said. "We just want to keep the noise under control. We're not trying to get
people out of business. We just want to bring peace and quiet back to our
I have yet to be in The Warehouse but I already think it’s a great addition to the city. Here we have a local company (yes the radio stations are actually locally owned) taking up the slack and bringing quality entertainment to the city while the Prairie Capitol Convention Center downtown holds small gatherings of little interest to the general public (especially youth) or sits idle.