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PreservationNation » Artists & Architecture: Giving Life to Buildings “In Between”

November 19, 2010

PreservationNation » Blog Archive » Artists & Architecture: Giving Life to Buildings “In Between”.

Hmmm.  I seem to have a theme this week.  Don’t give up on old buildings.  There are things to be done.  Think.  Be creative.  It might take outreach, cooperation, and a little extra effort but, oh, the benefits!

Click the link above to a post by Christine Madrid French, director of the National Trust’s Modernism + Recent Past program.  Her theme comes down to the idea that when the market tanks, fill in the blanks.  She includes this wise observation:

A search for “Artists” and “Vacant Buildings” brings up many other noteworthy efforts with the same goal in mind. Community Visual Restoration Project, funded in part by a grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project, worked in Minneapolis to benefit both property owners and creative residents of the city by increasing foot traffic at vacant sites, promoting available rental opportunities in the spaces, and creating revenue for businesses located nearby each installation. Filling empty window spaces with art is emerging as a legitimate venue for artists nationwide and as well as in Britain and Ireland.

Occupying vacant buildings with artists and artworks is not a new idea, perhaps, but triangulating the business owner, the artist, and the preservationist is less widely utilized. Here is an opportunity, however, to keep a building on the preservationist “watch list” from falling into dereliction. Providing people with the opportunity to interact with an historic building through the third-party of creative arts can reveal hidden potentials and benefit everyone involved.

Go read.  Now.  You heard me.

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