As I’ve mentioned in the last couple of posts here, I had a great time at Better Block Boro last week. You can watch a video overview of what was going on at
http://youtu.be/FlMMpWoPoI4, and you can see interviews with Mike Lydon of The Street Plans Collaborative here and some of the Better Block Boro volunteers here . I’ve also posted some thoughts about how tactical urbanism ideas might apply to the Local Economy Revolution here.
And here’s a few photos that sum up the day:
Isaac Kremer gives Mike Lyons and I a tour of downtown.
Isaac called these floor tiles from a long-demolished building “Kentucky Urbanism,” but then we all had a long talk about what a cool art project you might do on them.
Some of the volunteers at Better Block Ground Zero.
Some of the volunteers got the thrilling job of scraping dirt and weeds off the empty lot and curb. Amazing what a difference it made.
Did you think to spray paint this onto the broken sidewalk? I sure didn’t.
A guerilla historic marker. The laminated page explains the history of the building.
Every time I turned around, Mike Lydon was on the top of a ladder again. Having just met him that morning, I was pretty sure he was either fearless or nuts. He said that they found the letters in the abandoned theater the previous day and he had personally washed them off. This was an abandoned store front the day before I got there. By Saturday morning, it was a lovely multi-activty space for kids. This blew me away.
University of Kentucky landscape architecture students designed a trash can/recycling system using – what else – pallets. The Better Block material of choice, apparently.
And the finished product. Trash on one side, recyclables on the other.
Mayor Bill Kelley takes a rest in one of the pallet chairs – outside of the pop-up restaurant he was running that day.
This is the interior of the theater in the previous pictures. Two days before this, it was full of dirt and debris and had not been used for 20 years. That evening, they screened It’s a Wonderful Life for the community.