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The Story Behind Sk8 Liborius : The St. Louis DIY Skatepark Built in an Abandoned Church

Will Angiulo
June 29, 2022

I'm sure many of you have heard of or seen pictures of the infamous Sk8 Liborius DIY (The abadoned church turned skatepark). We got in touch with Co-Founder of Sk8 Liborious, Bryan Bedwell, and chatted with him about how it all started and how they have lasted the past 10 years.

***The Sk8 Liborius DIY is currently closed for renovations and is accepting donations to help with the costs. If you would to donate you can through this link! (if you're on your phone use this link )- All donations go towards renovations that will keep the Church up to code as well as allow them to continue all they do for the community in St. Louis! ***

So first off, how and when did you guys decide you wanted to start a DIY in a church?

Bryan : A friend got a hold of the building like 10 years ago and asked if I'd help out so I brought the homies and we got to it!

2. And how did you even pull it off?

Bryan : My friend Dave Blum got a hold of the building basically for free under the terms basically that he wouldn't let it fall down. He contacted me and a few other like minded types and we got to work.

3. So you guys just found an abandoned church with some homies and decided to start building ramps in it?

Bryan : A little more complicated then that but yeah haha

4. What was the initial cost to get the project started?

Bryan : Whatever we could afford to throw down.

5. What were the biggest obstacles in bringing this masterpiece to life?

Bryan : Trying to do it safely in the eyes of the city inspectors.

6. Was the town against it or did they support you guys? Or was it more of an underground vibe at first?

Bryan : Definitely underground vibes at first followed by mass support.

7. So people get an idea of how much work you guys put into this place, How many hours have went into making Sk8 Liborius into what it is today?

Bryan : Jeez, good question. Over thousands for sure. Its been over 10 years

8. The building is huge! Do you guys have anything else going down there besides the skatepark?

Bryan : Yes we are planning on having a community center featuring art, craft and trades classes.

9. How do you guys make the coin to keep the place running?

Bryan : We do not haha. Everything we collect goes right back into the building.

10. I saw that you guys just got a LiDAR of the structure of the church! That’s dope! How does that help you guys moving forward?

Bryan : We are hoping to be able to offer a virtual tour online of the building and also the lydar is helping us identify structural issues that we may have missed with the naked eye. 🔥

11. Are you guys hosting any events soon?

Bryan : No public events currently and rarely small private events.

Photo Taken by Joss Co-Owner owner of Sk8 Lib - @Frenchie_stl

12. What goes into maintaining the park ?

Bryan : Currently we are trying to raise our occupancy limit to allow us to host bigger events. In order to comply with the cities ordinance and safety rules we needed to expand our safety entrances and exits. Thats our goal right now but it has taken us 10 years to even get to this point. We have done everything from repairing/installation of plumbing and electrical services to tuckpointing the giant stones on top of the tower to cleaning up over 6 tons of bird shit! We pretty much just do whatever it takes haha

13. Is sk8liberious open to everyone?

Bryan : Currently we are closed for renovations but yes we will be open to everyone. Not just the skatepark but eventually we will even have a community center that will help introduce and train people to a bunch of different skills as well as arts and crafts.

14. Most towns in the US don’t even have skateparks but having a consistent place to skate in your town is extremely important in building a strong community. Since building sk8liberious, how much would you say it has influenced the skate community in St. Louis?

Bryan : Before Sk8 Liborius I founded KHVT a nonprofit that built the now torn down Kingshighway Bridge Skate Park and the Peter Mathews memorial skate garden here in St. Louis which were and are the only free skateparks in the city. Those places and sk8 lib provide an epic opportunity for community, ownership and pride in our local skate crews because they are/were diy born and bred which means most people helped out in their own ways to make these places available to the public.

"New skaters from all walks of life are born everyday because of these places"

Taken by Hailey Sherman - @hasfilms on IG

15. Why is it so important that kids have a safe place to learn how to skate?

Bryan : The first obvious answer to that is physical safety as in you don't want people being hit by cars or anything like that and second, skating is something you do yourself but like minded people surrounding you makes it easier to progress.

16. How often do you guys make additions?

Bryan : The church is constantly changing.

17. What goes in to adding something to the park ??

Bryan : Usually we have to move obstacles because of building renovations. When that happens Usually whoever is around makes the call on what we build next.

18. What advice do you have for skateboarders trying to start their own DIY or skatepark in an abandoned building?

Bryan : Find a place where anything would be better then what is there, find some like minded individuals and get to work! Don't give up.

19. How can people help keep sk8liberious alive and well?

Bryan : We are! We are currently fundraising for all of our new renovations so hit up our link and send us money!!!
if you are on your phone use this link :

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