PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

CommonPlace: A New, Uncommon Idea

When I first walked into CommonPlace downtown, I wasn’t sure where I was. It felt like a coffee shop, but it looked like an art gallery/living room hybrid. As it turns out, the newly opened CommonPlace (115 S. Fraser St.) is a coffee shop, an art gallery, and a living room; it’s whatever you want it to be.

Seeking to create a positive community space, the leaders at Calvary Baptist Church had an idea. With the help of volunteers, the space was completely renovated and their vision came to light. “It was a group effort,” said Pastor Steve Lutz, one of the minds behind CommonPlace. Donated furniture and artwork added the finishing touches to this incredibly versatile space with a ‘make yourself at home’ vibe.

“CommonPlace is a gathering space,” said Ken Hull. “Community members can come together and do work, study, read, eat, converse, or just simply be.”

Hull’s official title is Curator, although he thinks of himself as more of a host.

“What makes CommonPlace unique,” explained Hull, “is that there’s nothing for sale here. Our ‘business’ is creating community, for community, by community.” In exchange for wireless Internet, and local coffee blends and teas, patrons are asked to give what they can — or according to Hull, “what they think it’s worth.”

Every few months, a rotating art gallery wall will feature new, local art. The venue will host a book signing and a 7-piece jazz band concert in the near future. Additionally, they’re looking into things like open mic nights, singer/songwriter nights, and stand-up comedy nights. The space is available for rental as well.

Even though it’s backed by a church, anyone is welcome — regardless of religious views.

“The goal,” said Lutz, “is to bless our community by showing living proof of a loving God.” However, both Lutz and Hull stressed the fact that CommonPlace doesn’t preach or push religion on anyone. So far, community feedback has been great.

Apart from giving back to the State College community, CommonPlace is environmentally-minded as well. Paper products aren’t used at all, and customers are asked to wash the mugs, dishes, and silverware they utilize (if they’re able). Even used coffee grounds and things like banana peels are added to a compost pile, eliminating as much waste as possible.

An adaptable place where both Penn State students and permanent State College residents can come together is rare. Check out CommonPlace — you might find a new favorite study spot, a place for group meetings, or simply somewhere to chill between classes.

About the Author

Michael DeGothseir

Advertising/PR major, Blue Band drummer, peanut butter enthusiast.

Comments

More by Michael

10 Questions With Blue Band Drum Major Chris Siergiej

Meet Chris Siergiej, the newest Pennsylvania State University Marching Blue Band drum major. This past Saturday, Siergiej (pronounced SIR-gee) was chosen above nine other candidates to lead the Blue Band in 2013. Siergiej, who played saxophone in his first three years, is entering his fourth season with the Blue Band.

We caught up with Siergiej the day after his successful audition to find out how he prepared and what he’s excited for moving forward, among other things.

Report: Happy Valley Freshmen Are…Happy

13 People You’ll Work With in Group Projects

Athletics

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

The incident surrounding Marche’s death is “under investigation,” according to the Philadelphia police department.

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Penn State Hockey’s Evan Barratt, Aarne Talvitie Participate In World Junior Summer Showcase

Ally McHugh Wins 400 Medley National Championship

Student Life

Penn State Parking Office Runs Into Student Permit Purchase Issues

Students were delayed hours on Tuesday afternoon while trying to purchase on-campus parking permits.

Girirajan Lab Seeks To Bridge The Gap Between Fly And Human Genomes

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

The incident surrounding Marche’s death is “under investigation,” according to the Philadelphia police department.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Madden NFL 19 Ratings For Nittany Lions

For the second consecutive year, Sean Lee is the highest-rated Nittany Lion in the Madden video game.

Send this to a friend