Empty Public Land

Situated right in front of the MIA, this park was seemingly unoccupied when we walked past it. Perhaps it was the time of day, but the lack of humans and outward positioning of benches here presented some interesting questions as to the purpose and functionality of this public space. Are the benches positioned such that passerby might feel welcomed into the park, and do they truly feel welcoming?

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Human Systems

This mural in the Midtown Global market stood out to me during the field study. I appreciate the movement of goods and people depicted here, indicating that these peoples and processes are what tie this specific community together. It does a nice job of recognizing what the community is built upon and who is included in it.

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Fountain of the Ages

Irvine Park as a place of luxury and a mark of history – houses that date back to the 1850s surround this fountain, from a variety of styles including Italianate, Queen Anne, Romanesque, and Stick Styles. These houses and the people that once and currently reside there provide a look into architectural and social history. IMG_3189

Forgotten Trolley

An attempt to preserve the past lies in the construction of the Union Depot, as well as the very intentional placement of artifacts like this trolley, which exist simply for aesthetic purposes. This trolley has clearly been renovated, and is not used as it once one, paralleling the empty space around it. union

Thanks to W.A. Frost…

While exploring this somewhat upscale neighborhood (and my favorite café, Nina’s), we learned that these “Blair Flats” went up in 1887 when this corner of Selby and Western was the first stop for the Selby Ave streetcar, making it a prosperous street address. It turned into a hotel, but as the neighborhood’s desire was lost due to a changing cultural landscape, the hotel closed and the building became a reminder of the past. Thanks to W.A. Frost’s success and the beginnings of gentrification, however, the building was reopened in 1985 and the neighborhood claimed it as a historically relevant symbol. selby&western

Reflections on Transportation

As I looked into Union Depot, I was taken aback by the reflection of the metro next to a frequently traveled road caught on the window of the door leading into the city’s train station. Each form of transportation important, all located within close proximity of the other, and each having taken on a very different form and purpose in the present era. Grand central