Subscribe
Arts District

Co_Lab Books Opens This Month in Old Goucher

When architects design a bookstore, aesthetics are the focus

By Lauren LaRocca | December 18, 2017, 4:19 pm

Megan Elcrat at Co_Lab Books. -Lauren LaRocca
Arts District

Co_Lab Books Opens This Month in Old Goucher

When architects design a bookstore, aesthetics are the focus

By Lauren LaRocca | December 18, 2017, 4:19 pm

Megan Elcrat at Co_Lab Books. -Lauren LaRocca

Get Baltimore Daily.

Sign up today and you'll get our latest stories delivered straight to your inbox every weekday afternoon.

When architects Megan Elcrat and Phillip Jones opened Co_Lab co-working space in the spring of 2016, they envisioned the front portion of the building would one day become a bookstore with a focus on architecture and design.

That time has come.

Co_Lab Books opened in Old Goucher with a soft launch this month and will hold its grand opening in January.

It’s obvious that it was created by people who have made careers out of having a good eye. The look is clean and minimalistic, modern with wooden shelves, paintings by local artists on the walls, and a large, well-lit wooden table at its center, ideal for browsing some of the large art books. Subject matter runs the gamut: architecture theory and criticism, how-to guides, typography, crafts and DIY, city living and urban planning, and a Baltimore section that will expand in 2018.

-Lauren LaRocca

"We were hungry for a design bookstore in Baltimore. We just thought there was a hole there," Elcrat says, speaking for herself and on behalf of her husband, Jones. "We’re trying to be more holistically about design," she adds, leafing through the book Hybrid Modernism and eyeing its large, gorgeous photographs of movie theaters in South India—one of many titles chosen for its showcase of architectural styles.

Behind the bookstore is the workspace of several freelancers (writers, app developers, a lawyer), people who work remotely for larger companies, and nonprofit groups, such as Bikemore, Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition, and Child Justice. Though not all the tenants work in art and design fields, many do, and several of them recommended books to add to the store inventory. With two small children of her own, Elcrat stocked several picture books, too, with artwork as beautiful as their messages.

To engage more with the community, Elcrat, who also teaches architecture at Maryland Institute College of Art, plans to hold author talks and other events in 2018.

"Having a storefront presence is kind of an excuse to hang out with people," she says.




Meet The Author
Lauren LaRocca is the arts and culture editor for Baltimore magazine, where she covers arts, entertainment, music, and culture.

You May Also Like


Charmed Life

Designer David Burdick Discusses Costumes in The Revolutionists

Everyman Theatre's resident costume designer talks about his inspiration and creative process.

Arts District

Hamilton Slated to Make its Baltimore Premiere

Hippodrome Theatre’s upcoming season showcases a stunning lineup of productions old and new.

MaxSpace

Review: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Tragicomedy has some jarring tonal shifts, but at least gives us a Frances McDormand performance for the ages.


Arts District

Merriweather Season Expected to Resume as Planned Despite Roof Collapse

Executive director of Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission talks resilience of the legendary venue.

MaxSpace

Review: Wonder Wheel

Woody Allen pays homage to the great American plays of the 1950s.

MaxSpace

Review: Call Me By Your Name

Luxuriate in this gorgeous and deeply moving film about the joy and pain of first love.

Connect With Us

Most Read


Ten Incredibly Easy Ways to Be More Active in 2018: Get creative with walking meetings, workout buddies, and local sports leagues.

The Rowhouse Grille Hosts LLS Fundraiser Honoring Alex Wroblewski: The 41-year-old Locust Point resident was fatally shot outside of Royal Farms in November.

Here’s What We’d Like to See in the New Penn Station: Penn Station Partners will be refreshing the century-old train station.

Former Terp Makes Catch For the Ages: Wide receiver Stefon Diggs shocks the world.

Walters Curator Says Google Arts App is Good Start But Not Perfect: The museum has more than 1,400 works represented in the app's collection.