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Lunch UP: Daniel Campo

March 16, 2016 at 12:00 pm

Lunch UP: Daniel Campo, Associate Professor, School of Architecture and Planning, Morgan State University

Passionate preservations: DIY approaches to the reuse of obsolete industrial places in the American Rustbelt City

This presentation assesses grassroots efforts to preserve, reuse and enjoy iconic but economically obsolete structures and landscapes in the American Rustbelt. Exploring a range of deindustrialized sites including former automobile factories in Detroit, a steel plant in metropolitan Pittsburgh, and a “campus” of concrete grain elevators in Buffalo, it considers emerging preservation, placemaking and land stewardship practices pursued by idiosyncratic collectives of residents, local business owners, urban professionals and artists. Coalescing around a shared desire to conserve local landmarks and play an active role in the physical rebuilding of their cities, these collectives form a growing agency of historic preservation activism, expertise and passion in cities where it has traditionally been lacking. Accordingly, their incremental, sweat-equity driven projects provide an experience of industrial heritage that is more playful, immediate, and broadly participatory than those at better capitalized sites, even as they fall short of professional preservation standards (and thus eligibility for federal and state tax credit support). These projects may also suggest different approaches to demolition-oriented brownfields revitalization policies and anti-blight initiatives now employed in cities across the Rustbelt and elsewhere.

These sessions are a response to requests from faculty and students to learn more about what’s going on in the field in an informal environment. We hope this can inspire emergent thoughts and connections that will inform our scholarship. If you have research you would like to present, or a provocative article you would like to discuss, please speak with Larissa Larsen, David Weinreich, or Carla Kayanan.


March 16, 2016
12:00 pm