In 1912 Gustave F. Nemitz, son Walter and daughter Adela founded G. F. Nemitz & Son. Carriages, automobiles, and signs were painted in the shop. Overtime, glass and wallpaper departments were added.
In 1950 they began manufacturing paint. After nearly 50 years, Gustave sold his company to Adela‘s husband, Arthur J Benjamin. His son Arthur Benjamin Jr. eventually took over. In 2012 they celebrated their 100th anniversary of the business. Art’s tools, equipment, floors and shelving are a window on the company’s long history. Many of these items have been preserved and can be viewed at the McLeod County Historical Society or in the interior of the newly renovated Art’s Place venue.
A local investment group purchased the property from Art and Linda Benjamin with the hope of preserving the building. Once the decision was made to restore the building by the current owners, the name “Art’s Place” was adopted. The name encompasses Art’s name as an historical character of the community while playing with the term as an artsy historic gathering place.
When Kayla and Valerie of Compass Occasions started their event coordination business in 2014, they dreamed of one day hosting events in their own space. In 2018 they toured the Nemitz building for the first time and fell in love with the quirky personal details and industrial charm. Although 2020 has repeatedly changed their (and everyone else’s) plans, Kayla and Valerie will officially open their doors in September and start booking events.