(Crystal A. Proxmire, Ferndale 115 News, June 5, 2012)
Richard Gage, one of the artists behind Downtown Ferndale’s new ARTWN project was not in his studio on Sunday when a drunk driver struck the building and destroyed a section of the facade and mangled one of the I beams supporting the structure.
According to Gage, who owns Richard Gage Design Studios at 425 E. Nine Mile in Hazel Park, an intoxicated man driving a 1988 Chevy had been seen driving up the wrong side of the street as he headed West toward Ferndale at 11:30 pm on Sunday, June 3, 2012. As oncoming headlights alerted the driver, they responded by making a sharp left directly for the building.
Tire tracks are still visible on the sidewalk, indicating that the driver narrowly missed the metal bench, waste barrel, and streetlight all in the same area. The vehicle was essentially stopped by an I-beam, though the impact took out a chunk of the wall and several windows.
Gage Design Studios is home of TANK, a workshop for artists of all types to learn skills like woodworking, welding and other industrial fabrication techniques. Gage is best known for his large metal sculptures and architectural design work. He is part of the ARTWN project, having done the bike rack in front of Western Market and a sculpture that will be going in front of Como’s. He also worked with One-Eyed Betty’s to do their interior.
Police told Gage that the driver was not severely injured, though they were taken to the hospital to be evaluated.
“This will be one of those things we always remember,” Gage said. “But all in all it’s no big deal. Hopefully they have insurance, but if they don’t mine will cover it and I’ll just have to pay the deductible. I had one model damaged, and some equipment and supplies, but nothing that isn’t replaceable. I’m just glad nobody was hurt.”
To learn more about Richard Gage Design Studios and TANK, visit http://www.richardgagedesignstudio.com/.