January 27, 2009

Lancaster Square Demolition

Cities can fall victim to fads as easily as individuals. In the late sixties and seventies, Lancaster (PA) underwent a spurt of "urban renewal", partly funded by the government, in which historic but neglected buildings were demolished and replaced by concrete boxes designed by urban planners. Unfortunately, it failed to stem the migration of residents to the suburbs and shoppers to the mall, and the new buildings never became the hoped-for urban hubs. It didn't help that they were, by any objective standards, ugly and awkward.

In the hopes of attracting developers to redesign/reuse the space, the worst of the facade of the concrete monstrosity on North Queen Street is currently being removed. Above is a partially demolished pedestrian walkway, that mostly served as an home to pigeons.
No one is going to miss this mess. You can go here to see the original Hotel Brunswick that was torn down in order to erect this--aah, the wisdom and twenty-twenty vision of hindsight!

I am getting some cool photos of the process--click the one above and see a shovel full of debris on its way down to a dumpster.

I don't think these images are going to inspire any artwork the way the Watt & Shand renovation has (if you are new here, click on Watt & Shand in the sidebar at the right to see a beautiful and creative demolition/reuse of architecture). But I applaud the efforts being made to further transform Lancaster City, and look forward to seeing what's next. Go here to read a local newspaper story about the project.
On a mostly unrelated note, I just realized that I've been blogging for exactly one year. In that time, I've produced 145 posts, shared a LOT of photos, talked about my inspirations, my travels near and far, my work in progress, and my work that has made it's way out into the world. I've enjoyed the process immensely, and I hope you are enjoying the posts and will stay with me as we journey further into this brave new world.


Kathy Binns said...

Congratulations on your one-year anniversary of blogging! I really enjoy your work and your blog. It's one of the many from the QuiltArt list that has inspired me to bring my blog back to life again!

Sue Reno said...

Thank you Kathy, I appreciate your support!