Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sqecial Media

The passage of time has nudged Sqecial Media (pronounced "skeshal", not "squeshal" or "special") from being a mere "hippie shop" into becoming one of Lexington's great historic treasures, a sort of elder statesman of Fayette County hipster retail.

Sqecial Media was founded in 1972 by Madison Countian David Adams, who went on to cofound Morgan-Adams Books in 1990. David died on December 1, 2005 at the age of 66. Originally, Sqecial Media had more of a "head shop" vibe than it does today - or at least had a notorious reputation for it - but today it's a more innocuous source for college students to obtain their prerequisite incense, candles, tarot cards, clove cigarettes, New Age books, essential oils, buddhist statuary, vegan cookbooks, gag gifts, zines, Salvador Dali posters, and Jack Kerouac postcards.

A great many other famous/infamous fringe businesses have graced the downstairs realms of the Sqecial Media building, including Bear's Wax Records, Sami's Music, Voodoo Video (my own weird video store), Paisley Peacock, and an ever-shifting lineup of restaurants.

Due to crazy construction ongoing in the area, you have to take a rather Rube Goldberg circuitous path to get to Sqecial Media. Consult the map below before traveling to 371 South Limestone, and remember, never, never, never park at the McDonalds parking lot adjacent to it. They have minions ready and eager to call a tow truck the moment they see you get out of your car and walk into Sqecial.

(Photos filched from Lori-Lyn Hurley and mightyquinninlex.)


Unknown said...

Now this is too, too much! From 1966 to 1971 I was the Baptist Campus Minister at the University of Kentucky, and 371 was the Baptist Student Center! I know that building well. Or at least I did. I am sure it is quite different now. It had started out as a fourplex apartment building. I would love to see inside again.

Unknown said...

This is unreal! I know that building well. It used to be the Baptist Student Center for the University, and I served there as Baptist Campus Minister 1966-1971. 371 started out as a fourplex apartment building, but was modified, I think back in the 40's, for an office, a caregiver apartment, a lounge, and workrooms on the first floor, and an auditorium on the second floor. I have climbed those stairs many times! I would love to tour the old place again.

JSH said...

That's awesome, Rev. Smith! I had no idea what occupied the building prior to the hippie takeover :)