Thursday, April 29, 2010

Demolition sounds great, but in my knowledge, American urban history does not look kindly on population relocation, whatever the reasoning, because its always political who is being moved, whether for a new highway, new developments, or any other reason. There's always a good chance the people making the decisions for relocation are not the ones being relocated. It affects the integrity and history of neighborhoods and cities alike.

When Mayor Bloomberg of New York City made 220 people including myself homeless in 2007 by allowing a forced "evacuation" of a loft building with 5 hours notice, I certainly thought there were other options that could have been explored. I feel like there are other options in this case also, and will be curious to see what happens.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Detroit spring demolition begins April 1 2010

Today Mayor Dave Bing began to make good on his promise of tearing down 3,000 vacant buildings before the end of the year. Crews started early this morning in the Delray neighborhood at 1123 Lewerenz St and as of an hour ago the crew had moved on to their second demolition site near the intersection of 14th St. and Martin Luther King.

Recently, two separate surveys revealed that nearly 1 in 3 Detroit lots are either vacant or abandoned.

The Detroit Data Collaborative's block-by-block analysis of about 343,849 residential parcels found that about 64 percent contained occupied housing, nearly 10 percent had vacant homes and more than 26 percent were empty lots.

The survey conducted in August and September found 219,511 occupied homes, 33,529 vacant homes and 91,488 vacant lots. It also said 86 percent of homes appeared to be in good condition, while another 9 percent needed minor repairs.

Whereas most homes in disrepair are demolished, the Michigan State Land Bank has repeated that it is their intention to deconstruct the Ice House Detroit property on McClellan St. Theirs is a unique project that disassembles rather than deconstructs homes so that the materials can be reused and recycled.

Also today, on what feels like the first day of spring in New York, Matthew and me met to discuss the book design which we are beginning to lay out. The book will document the production process of the Ice House Detroit installation from beginning to end, including stories from Ice House neighbors. The book will be given as a reward to those that donated to our project and will also be made available through local channels.