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fall 2012


ISSUES is a collaborative, multidisciplinary publication that explores social issues in St. Louis through the lens of architecture and urban design. This publication seeks to introduce social issues - and their existing and potential solutions - to students of Washington University and members of the St. Louis community. ISSUES serves as a diverse platform for the discussion of pressing social problems; it intends to inspire change in under-served communities in St. Louis and elsewhere.


DUFKLWHFWXUH FDQ SOD\ D VLJQLĂ€FDQW SDUW LQ GHWHUPLQLQJ KRZ SHRSOHif architecture is going to inspire SDUWLFLSDWH LQ WKH RQJRLQJ UHVWUXFWXULQJ RI HFRQRPLF DQG FXOWXUDOcommunity, or stimulate the status quo SUDFWLFHVE\DFWLQJDVDFDWDO\VWIRUQHZH[SHULHQFHVDQGSHUFHSWLRQVin making responsible environmental DQQDNOLQJPDQQ and social structural changes now and ,QFUHDVLQJO\ $PHULFDQ FLWL]HQVDUHHQFRXUDJHGWRĂ€QGWKHLUUHOD[DWLRQHQWHUWDLQPHQWFRPSDQLRQVKLSHYHQin the future, it will take what i call the safety, almost entirely within the privacy of homes that have become more a retreat from society than a ‘subversive leadership’ of academicians connection to it. - Ray Oldenburg and practitioners to remind the student HQHUJ\FDQDQGVKRXOGQRWEHVWRSSHGE\DQ\DFDGHPLFRUOHJDOSODQQLQJSURFHVV of architecture that theory and practice HGLUDPD Make no small plans are not only interwoven with one’s culture what concerns me as much as the state of American building is the american state of mind, for they have not the but with the responsibility of shaping the environment, of breaking up social in waich illusion is preferred over reality to the power to stir the soul. complacency, and challenging the power of point where the replica is accepted as genuine and the simulacrum replaces the source. - ada Niccolo Machiavelli the status quo. - samuel mockbee louise huxtable

ZHPXVWĂ€JKWWKHRUJDQL]DWLRQLWLVZUHWFKHGGLVSLULWLQJ advice to hold before him the dream that ideally there need EHQRFRQĂ LFWEHWZHHQKLPDQGVRFLHW\WKHUHDOZD\VLVWKHUH always must be. ideology cannot wish it away; the peace of PLQGRIIHUHGE\RUJDQL]DWLRQUHPDLQVDVXUUHQGHU:LOOLDP Whyte, Jr. UHEXLOGWKHFLW\OLWWOHE\OLWWOHUREIDJHUVWURP RXUPRVWEHDXWLIXOEXLOGLQJVPXVWEHLQRXUSRRUHVWDUHDVVHUJLRIDMDUGR

i loved it. there was something very unique and special about the relationships we had. even though WKHUH ZHUH PDQ\ PDQ\ ÀJKWV WKHUH (was) still something unique. it was like a very huge family. ‌. i had a ball growing up in the projects. just a ball. given the choice between growing up in Ladue and growing up in the projects, i’d pick the projects, hands down. - barbara west, 2005 (on pruitt-igoe)

When we do a project in which the voiceless speak, others who IRUPIUR]HIXQFWLRQ come to witness it can leave with stewart brand the idea that they too can speak, The sketch is a mark that suggests that they too have a voice. the possibility of an idea and an ideal. - samuel mockbee .U]\V]WRI:RGLF]NR

The whole world watches to see whether the demthe chief worth of civilization is that it makes the means of living more DUFKLWHFWXUHLVQRWRQO\ ocratic ideal in hucomplex; that it calls for great and combined intellectual efforts, instead of EXLOGLQJVEXWDOOWKHZRUNVman relationships simple, uncoordinated ones, in order that the crowd may be fed and clothed WKDWPDQPDNHVZLWKKLV is viable. Can citiand housed and moved from place to place. because more complex and KDQGVLQWKHFRXUVHRI ]HQVOHDUQWRVHHN intense intellectual efforts means a fuller and richer life. they mean more KLVGDLO\RFFXSDWLRQV their own welfare life. life is an end in itself, and the only question as to whether it is worth PDUWLQKHLGHJJHU and growth not living is whether you have enough of it. - oliver wendell holmes, jr. at the expense of :KLOHWKHJUDIÀWLZDOOKDVKDGLWVSUREOHPVWKHUHKDYHEHHQYHU\IHZ If home is a safe spot that offers security and their fellow men, popular activities over the years that haven’t, from Fair Saint Louis to contentment, a place that restores and susthe Strassenfest, and the problems have ranged from crime to public but in concert with urination. In those instances, bright minds came together to deal tains us, where we can be both grounded and with the problems while allowing the events to continue. It seems rooted, then far too many people who seem them? The human WKDWEULJKWPLQGVGLGQ¡WSUHYDLOWKLVWLPHDQGWKHFLW\FRXOGQ¡WÀJXUH to be adequately sheltered are, in a more basic family does not yet RXWDZD\WRDOORZWKHJUDIÀWLZDOOWRFRQWLQXH%XWWKHQDJDLQWKDW would have required being bold and taking a risk. It’s not something sense, homeless. know the answer, St. Louis is famous for. - Greg Freeman Tony Hiss but hopes it will be 7KHVWDUU\H\HGHWKLFVRISHUIHFWLELOLW\KDVWRJLYH DIÀUPDWLYH ZD\WRWKHVWHUQHURQHRIUHVSRQVLELOLW\+DQV-RQDV YOU DECIDE. Gordon Allpor


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CONTENT

ELAINE STOKES MICHAEL SAVALA HOMELESSNESS

5

REAGAN LAUDER STEPH SILVA

WHAT YOU WON’T GET FROM A VALUE MEAL

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OLD NORTH

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FOOD DESERTS

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THE FLOOD WALL

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ANDREW SCHEINMAN ARIANA MONTANEZ MARGARET FLATLEY 9,5*,1,$%26:257+ J.D. SCOTT


Without A Home

Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Saint Louis without a roof over your head, sleeping on the few park benches where the sprinklers donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t interrupt your sleep.You take a busâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;two dollars from what little you haveâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;to travel over to the west side of town, to Delmar Loop, Clayton, Richmond Heights, where people have money.You stand on the corner, cardboard sign in one hand and cup in the other, standing patiently all day for a few generous people who give you enough money for food and the bus trips so you can repeat that process again. To be certain, not every homeless person goes through this, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a scenario that exists. Passersby refuse to give persons in need money on the spot because they believe that the said person will spend it on drugs, alcohol, or other vices based on societyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s assumptions. The person asking for money will be left without the resources he or she will QHHGWRJHWWKURXJKWKHGD\%RWKSHRSOHPRYHRQKDYLQJOHDUQHG nothing from the experience. For those who arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t homeless, the idea isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t as distant as it may VHHP7KHUHDVRQVIRUKRPHOHVVQHVVDUHLQĂ&#x20AC;QLWH7KH\UDQJHIURP the drug abuse and criminal actsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the assumptions that many hold about the homeless--to the more common and inevitable causes of joblessness and tragedies. Though itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s harsh for the people who have available resources to snap judge those who need them, it happens often enough to cause distrust from both sides. So why is homelessness so abundant in our cities and in our ZRUOGWRGD\"7KHUHDVRQVDUHDVGLYHUVHDVWKHSHRSOHZKRĂ&#x20AC;QG themselves in them, but most of the causes are exacerbated by the built structure of the area. In American cities like Saint Louis especially, different entitiesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;home, work, stores, and food sourcesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;are so distant that each require a car or bus pass to reach. Maintaining a vehicle costs a substantial amount and bus passes cost a lot of money, which could be used for food or rent

instead. And even when one does own an apartment or home, the cost of upkeep is substantial enough to force eviction and foreclosure. The issue of homelessness will take a lot of resources to eliminate, EXWWKHUHDUHFHUWDLQO\SHRSOHDQGRUJDQL]DWLRQVZRUNLQJWRKHOS people out. One of these people is Jay Swoboda, creator and FXUUHQWHGLWRURI:KDW¡V8SPDJD]LQH :KDW¡V8SPDJD]LQHLVDVROXWLRQGHVLJQHGWRLQKLVZRUGV´JLYH SHRSOHDKDQGXSQRWDKDQGRXWÂľ7KHYHQGRUVRIWKHPDJD]LQH DOORIZKRPDUHKRPHOHVVEX\WKHPDJD]LQHDWDORZIHHDQGWKHQ VHOOLWDWFRPPHUFLDOFHQWHUVDFURVVWKHFLW\WRPDNHDSURĂ&#x20AC;W7KH logic is that by giving the vendor a job, not simply a check, the vendor can work his or her way out of an economic downturn and towards a better lifestyle. +DYLQJUXQWKHPDJD]LQHIRURYHU\HDUV-D\KDVPHW many homeless people and heard their stories. He describes KRPHOHVVQHVVDVWKHLQHYLWDEOHRXWFRPHRIOLIH¡VVLWXDWLRQV´:HDOO make bad decisions and go through hardships, ours just donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t cost XVRXUKRXVLQJÂľ$FWLQJDVDFRXQWHUWRWKHVLWXDWLRQKLVPDJD]LQH GRHVPRUHWKDQRIIHUĂ&#x20AC;QDQFLDOEHQHĂ&#x20AC;WV²LWEXLOGVVHOIHVWHHP The vendors make their own wages and work towards earning WKHLUZD\RXWRIDĂ&#x20AC;QDQFLDOVOXPHPSRZHULQJDQGEHQHĂ&#x20AC;WLQJWKHP HPRWLRQDOO\DVZHOODVĂ&#x20AC;QDQFLDOO\ 0DQ\SHRSOHJURXSVDQGRUJDQL]DWLRQVH[LVWWRGLVWULEXWH resources to those who need them and they have been effective at their reach, but homelessness still exists on a huge scale. Society does not help; those who are more fortunate tend to perpetuate the negative stereotypes of homeless people, who deal with many more hardships than society is willing to admit. The gap between the privileged person and the panhandler is only as wide the narrow space that separates the two; it is for this reason that a level of understanding is crucial.


What You Wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Get From a Value Meal Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something so utterly romantic about McDonaldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. That feeling of knowing exactly what you crave and getting just that. Maybe itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the smell of grease that for some reason, no matter where you are, is no more than a couple of miles and a couple of dollars away. The coating of oil from a handful of fries on your Ă&#x20AC;QJHUVWKHZKLIIRIDIUHVKEDWFKRI0F1XJJHWVWKDWTXLFNO\Ă&#x20AC;OOV XS\RXUFDUDQGVXUURXQGV\RXLQSXUHMR\WKHVHXVHGWREH parts of the best meal I could imagine. 6LQFHWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWWLPH,KDG0F'RQDOG¡V,KDYHVRPHKRZDOZD\V wanted more. There could really never be enough McNuggets in my life. I constantly begged my mother to drive me to McDonaldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s as often as possible. We would typically go once a week, on the way to my art class, and I looked forward to it all week. I would get so excited for the McDonaldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s portion of the evening that I would be almost disappointed that I had an art class to go to afterwards; I just wanted to feast all night. It was as if the most thrilling part of eating McDonaldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s was the anticipation. My eating experiences at McDonaldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s were probably a lot like everyone elseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. We would pull up to the Drive-Thru, order exactly the same thing every time, and begin eating in my PRWKHU¡V689OHVVWKDQĂ&#x20AC;YHPLQXWHVODWHU:HZRXOGDOOTXLHWO\ scarf down our meals in less than ten minutes, with hardly a word of conversation breaking the harsh focus on eating. The HQWLUHRUGHDOZDVRYHUZLWKLQĂ&#x20AC;IWHHQPLQXWHV$QGDVVRRQ as it was over, sometimes even before it was over, it seemed like I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t help but want more. Not because I was hungry, but because McDonaldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s promised me something magical. It promised me a mundane regularity, a dependable meal that may not have been so great, but it still always seemed like a great idea. As I grew older and was eventually granted the freedom to drive, ,EHJDQWRJHW0F'RQDOG¡VPRUHRIWHQ,Ă&#x20AC;QDOO\JRWWREUHDNIUHH from my motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tyrannical weekly limit, and I could have it as much as I could manage to drive there. To this day, I have no idea how often I would go; all of the experiences Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had with McDonalds blend together in an incredibly monotonous set of meals. I went often enough that my friends who worked behind the counter knew exactly what I wanted and usually put down the order before I asked. Sometimes at around one or two in the morning, my friends and I would get some food and sit in the

SDUNLQJORWIRUDQKRXURUVRMXVWWDONLQJ%XWWKURXJKDOORIWKLV, FDQQRWVSHFLĂ&#x20AC;FDOO\UHPHPEHUDQ\SDUWLFXODUPHDORUH[SHULHQFH just a string of blissful moments. In fact, of all of the times Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve eaten McDonaldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, I can only remember a handful of experiences. McDonaldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s was not about eating. It was about the idea of eating. It was about continually feeding into an insatiable want. Actually consuming these meals was not satisfying, and not stimulating. It was just dependable, and somehow still continually desirable. $IWHUP\Ă&#x20AC;UVW\HDURIFROOHJH,GHFLGHGWRFKDQJHP\HDWLQJ habits. For a variety of reasons I became a vegetarian and generally ate much healthier, organic, local food, etcetera. Noting more than a yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worth of understanding the effects that food like McDonaldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s has on public health, the environment, animal welfare, large-scale social issues, and so many other problems, I decided it was time for a change. This inconveniently brought up the question of what I would eat when the only thing around or open was fast food. In August, before my sophomore year, I took a weeklong road trip back to school, from New York to St. Louis. Naturally, when on the road, I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a whole lot of eating options that were vegetarian friendly. And in the early phases of my vegetarianism, I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think ahead to take any food along with me. This meant I was either going to suck it up and eat fast food, starve, or give the random, strange-looking roadside diners a shot. Unlike my many meals at McDonaldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, I remember every one of WKHVHH[SHULHQFHVDOPRVWSHUIHFWO\7KHĂ&#x20AC;UVWRQHIRUH[DPSOHVHW the course for my taste for local eateries. In the middle of rural Pennsylvania, my friends and I entered a seemingly shady diner at OXQFKKRXURQO\WRĂ&#x20AC;QGDQXPEHURIIULHQGO\LIZHLUGROGSHRSOH who happened to be quite talkative. We had an unexpectedly delightful conversation with the waitress, not so young herself. The menu, which of course suited my needs better than any of the food chains, had an unusually wide variety of items, from which one of my friends ordered pancakes. The pancakes arrived, and in very interesting form. My friend noted the texture of his IRRGDVVRUWRIOHDWKHUOLNHZLWKDGDUNEURZQJORVV\Ă&#x20AC;QLVKDQG before long we watched him stop to pet his pancakes. Naturally, all of us were laughing so hard we were practically crying. Even


people sitting at the table next to us noticed, and joined in the fun. The meal ensued with memorable conversation, and was a purely hilarious experience. I was never again going to regret changing my dietary choices. My enjoyment therefore lasted far longer than the momentary bliss of a McDonaldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s meal. It wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t about the quality of the food, and we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know what to expect JRLQJLQUDWKHULWZDVDERXWUHDOL]LQJWKDWWKHEHVWPHDOVZHUH complete experiences, not just quick satiation of desires. From then on, within that trip and throughout the last year and a half, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve tried to eat at as many hole-in-the-wall Mexican SODFHVORFDOSL]]HULDVGLQHUV&KLQHVHIRRGSODFHVDQGRWKHU UDQGRPHDWHULHVDVSRVVLEOH,¡YHVSHFLĂ&#x20AC;FDOO\FKRVHQWKHVHSODFHV on road trips, in my town, and in other cities. My friends would opt for fast food, for chain restaurants, where they knew what kind of meal and what kind of experience theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d get, while I have had some of the best meals of my life. They would anxiously await their meal, eat it without thinking about it, and leave the WDEOHZLWKOLWWOHUHĂ HFWLRQ+RZHYHUP\PHDOVZHUHORQJHU more continually exciting, probably tastier, and generally great experiences. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve since met some of the most interesting waiters and other employees, visited some of the most interesting spaces, and struck up random conversations with other guests. There is a certain sense of community within these places that canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be matched at a cookie cutter McDonaldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. At a local eatery, you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t quite know what will happen, even if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d been there EHIRUH%HFDXVHRIWKHXQLTXHTXDOLWLHVRIVLQJOHORFDWLRQHDWHULHV FKDQFHDQGSHUVRQDOLW\ZHUHERXQGWRĂ&#x20AC;QGWKHLUZD\LQWR\RXU food, which is exactly what food chains are built to prevent. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve generally found that the most interesting conversations happen at the most interesting places, and fast food chains are designed to not be. At local eateries, your surroundings inspire you. There is a certain beauty to not knowing what you are going to get, to having your surroundings decide for you. There is something so fantastic about not being anxious about your meal, but letting it happen, and reacting to it. The best experiences and best memories happen at random, and choosing the beautiful uncertainty of a unique eatery always trumps the dependency of McDonaldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s or of any chain restaurant for me.


Driving through North St. Louis is a lesson in forgotten urban VSDFHDEDQGRQHGZDUHKRXVHVHPSW\ORWVERDUGHGXSKRXVHV and deteriorating sidewalks stretch for miles on end. With buildings scattered sparsely across vast tracts of land, St. Louis City has nowhere near the resources to address the sprawling disinvestment within its borders. However, a small pocket of North St. Louis has fought back to rebuild community in their area. The intersection of North 14th Street and Saint Louis Avenue serves as a stark contrast to its surroundings. %XLOGLQJVDUHZHOONHSWSODQWLQJVDUHWULPPHGWKHVLGHZDONVDUH maintained, and a local artist has painted colorful murals on the street. Through structural and aesthetic investments, Old North 6W/RXLVLVUHGHĂ&#x20AC;QLQJLWVLPDJHDQGVWUHQJWKHQLQJQHLJKERUKRRG connections. 14th Street sits at the heart of Old North and has been the focus of the Crown Square redevelopment project carried out by Old North Saint Louis Restoration Group (ONSL). ONSL EHJDQLQDVDQRQSURĂ&#x20AC;WQHLJKERUKRRGJURXSWRGHYHORS and protect the areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s community and historic legacy.* Through JUDQWVFROODERUDWLRQZLWKRWKHURUJDQL]DWLRQVDQGPRVW importantly, involvement of local residents, ONSL has established Crown Square as a source of pride for the community that IDFLOLWDWHVFROODERUDWLRQEHWZHHQUHVLGHQWVDQGEXVLQHVVHV%\ focusing on a concentrated area, ONSL has chosen to address regional problems of resource accessibility on a neighborhood scale. Through this method, issues that appear impossible on a macro scale become more manageable on a micro scale, especially when solved with grassroots solutions. This effort has made the neighborhood an oasis in the midst of a struggling urban area. In fact, Crown Square has served as an oasis in the most literal sense of the word, as the surrounding North Saint Louis

TXDOLĂ&#x20AC;HVDVD´IRRGGHVHUWÂľ7KLVWHUPUHIHUVWR]RQHVZKHUH healthy food choices are simply not available. Often, gas stations provide the only source of food in these areas. In response to the desperate need for healthy and affordable food, ONSL began a farmerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s market on 14th Street that operates every 6DWXUGD\IURPDPWRQRRQGXULQJWKHVXPPHUDQGHDUO\ fall months. In addition to providing food accessibility, ONSLâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chief administrator Sean Thomas notes the other strengths of DIDUPHU¡VPDUNHWDV´DQRSSRUWXQLW\WREXLOGFRPPXQLW\DQG common ground space regardless of [the community membersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;] EDFNJURXQGVÂľ%XW216/GLGQRWVWRSZLWKWKHIDUPHU¡VPDUNHW Sean Thomas gives credit to local residents for wanting to create access to local food. With just 59% of residents owning cars, creating a permanent food source within walking distance was critical. In July 2010, the Old North Grocery Co-op opened in a previously abandoned warehouse, with ONSL guiding the property purchase. The vacant building was under threat of being bought by an unknown individual whose intentions for the lot were unknown. Luckily, ONSL ensured the building was purchased by an individual who had the neighborhoodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s interests at heart. Now, the Co-op provides local jobs as well as local food and even incorporates a community garden in a nearby lot that produces vegetables to be sold at the farmerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s market. The major community advancements achieved through the Co-op illustrate the power of a single business to make a community vastly more self-sustaining. While the Old North Grocery Co-op is a powerful example of community development in and of itself, it is only one aspect of the changes occurring in Crown Square. ONSL has involved the restoration of 27 formerly vacant buildings on 14th Street and 12 properties on adjacent blocks, which have become the location of several storefronts and 80 mixed-use apartments. 42 of these homes are affordable rentals made possible by low income


income tax credits. The development of Crown Square has experienced varied success so far. According to Sean Thomas, the residential units are hovering close to maximum occupancy, with a mix of local residents and members of the broader Saint Louis community moving in. However, many of the commercial VWRUHIURQWVUHPDLQYDFDQW216/UHFRJQL]HVWKDWWKHORZ population density of Old North is not enough to sustain GR]HQVRIEXVLQHVVHVLQVXFKDWLJKWFRQFHQWUDWLRQDQGWKLV understanding was a factor in the decision to make the buildings on 14th Street mixed-use rather than purely commercial. Even with this adjustment, more businesses are needed to make 14th Street a vibrant commercial center. Crown Candy Kitchen, the historic malt shop, already serves as a draw to the neighborhood, but Sean Thomas expressed ONSLâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s desire to attract more high SURĂ&#x20AC;OHEXVLQHVVHVWRWKHQHLJKERUKRRG7KLVVWUXJJOHW\SLĂ&#x20AC;HVWKH FDWFKRIPDQ\ORZGHQVLW\DUHDVPRUHUHVLGHQWVDUHQHHGHG

to support an increase of businesses, but without existing businesses there is little to attract more residents. The heart of the issue that faces neighborhoods like Old North is the vast expanse of property that needs to be addressed. In Saint Louis, the low population density spread over a wide geographical area makes it impossible to address all neighborhoods equally; there are no funds to do so. In this situation, ONSL seems to have approached a large-scale SUREOHPLQWKHPRVWSUDFWLFDOHIĂ&#x20AC;FLHQWZD\SRVVLEOHGHYHORS a node that can connect to other nodes, which will eventually create a spreading web of successful communities. This is not an overnight process, but with the range of issues that address this city, incremental progress is the best possibility for future success.ess this *ONSL.orgcity, incremental progress is the best possibility for


,WVWDUWHGZLWKDQHPDLO 7KH%RVWRQ6RFLHW\ of Architects sends out a newsletter every week with events and announcements in the near future. Sometimes I read them, sometimes I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. One week this summer, I read through the DQQRXQFHPHQWVDQGIRXQGWKHIROORZLQJ

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´IRUÂľ6HHNV$UFKLWHFWVDQG'HVLJQHUV 6XVWDLQDELOLW\*XLOG,QWHUQDWLRQDOD'RUFKHVWHUEDVHGVRFLDOHQWHUSULVHLVODXQFKLQJ´IRUÂľ DQLQLWLDWLYHWRFRQQHFWDUFKLWHFWVDQGGHVLJQHUVZLWK'RUFKHVWHUUHVLGHQWVLQGHVLJQEXLOGSURMHFWVWKLVVXPPHU7KHLQLWLDWLYHZLOOHQJDJHUHVLGHQWVLQWKHGHVLJQDQGPDUNHWWHVWLQJRI SURMHFWVIRFXVHGRQFOHDQHQHUJ\FRPPXQLW\EHDXWLĂ&#x20AC;FDWLRQXUEDQJDUGHQLQJDQGIRRGDFFHVV

,WZDVWRRSHUIHFW´FOHDQHQHUJ\FRPPXQLW\EHDXWLĂ&#x20AC;FDWLRQ urban gardening and food access.â&#x20AC;? I had learned about these topics during several classes at WashU, but had always been FXULRXVDERXWWKHPLQWKH%RVWRQDUHD,FDOOHGWKHZRPDQLQ charge of the project to discuss the potential ways in which I FRXOGKHOS%HLQJDFROOHJHVWXGHQWZLWKRXWPXFKH[SHULHQFH, was unsure of how she would respond to my offer. That phone call instantly allayed my nervousness. She was eager to accept my help and asked me to meet with her later that week to visit the sites they planned to redesign. As she described it, there was immense opportunity and encouragement from the city to better the communities and areas within Dorchester. Upon arriving in Dorchester, I found shingle-style houses similar to those I had seen in other parts of the city. Even the foreclosed house on the street near one of the community gardens was in relatively good shape. There was also little to no vandalism in and around the areas where we were working. The fences surrounding the vacant lots were intact and there was QRJUDIĂ&#x20AC;WLLQVLJKW Speaking with Jhana made me re-examine the angle from which I was approaching the problems in Dorchester. While I was in St. Louis, I took a class that focused on crime prevention through design. However, when I mentioned trying to decrease the crime in the area through design, Jhana warned me to be careful of presenting the projects as forms of crime prevention LQ´GDQJHURXVQHLJKERUKRRGVÂľEHFDXVHSHRSOHZRXOGEH offended by having their neighborhoods called dangerous. Instead, the focus was on beautifying the area to create more outdoor activity and community engagement. What crime is present in the area would be decreased by more people RQWKHVWUHHW%\HQFRXUDJLQJWKHXVHRIWKHVWUHHWVDQG community gardens, activeness in the area would increase while simultaneously decreasing crime and increasing the appeal of the area.

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Seeks Architects and Designers


7KHSURMHFWFRQVLVWHGRIĂ&#x20AC;YHLQLWLDOVLWHVWKDWZRXOGLGHDOO\DFW as examples for other vacant lots around the city. The mayor DQGFLW\RIĂ&#x20AC;FLDOVZHUHSDUWLFXODUO\LQWHUHVWHGLQWKHVXFFHVVRI WKLVSURMHFWJLYHQLWVSRWHQWLDOIRUUHSOLFDWLRQ7KHĂ&#x20AC;YHORWVWREH developed into places of community activity were located near WZRPDMRUFRPPHUFLDOVWUHHWVLQ'RUFKHVWHU7KHĂ&#x20AC;UVW%OXH+LOO Avenue, is a corridor that stretches through several parts of the city, running from Roxbury to Mattapan. The main goal for the ORWVDORQJ%OXH+LOO$YHQXHZDVWRFUHDWHPRUHDFWLYLW\ particularly at night. There were more stray animals, raccoons, etc. around the area, so residents did not want community gardens that would increase the desirability of this area for animals. The other major issue was drugs and prostitution in the area. With an increase in evening activity, these illegal activities should decrease. %RZGRLQ*HQHYDKDVDFRPPXQLW\FRRSIDUPHU¡VPDUNHW7KH idea was that community members could get involved growing fresh fruits and vegetables in the community gardens. These fruits and vegetables would then be sold at the neighborhood farmerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s market to make healthy foods easily accessible, while funding the gardens.

While it is still early for construction to be occurring on the sites, the Sustainability Guild has begun several pop-up activities WREULQJFRPPXQLW\PHPEHUVWRJHWKHU ´)UHVK)ULGD\VÂľLVDZHHNO\HYHQWFRPELQLQJOLYHPXVLFDQGIUHVK food. Fruits and vegetables from the Coleman St. garden provides weekly fresh, affordable, and healthy meals. Support from the city has been visible through Mayor Tom Meninoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attendance at one weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fresh Friday. ´$3OD\ZD\RQ&ROHPDQ6WÂľWRRNRYHU&ROHPDQ6WUHHWRQH Saturday with the goal of bringing together families with sameage children that attend different schools. The city shut down the one-way street so that children and families could participate in hula hooping, badminton, salsa dancing, live music, and other activities. More information on activity by the Sustainability Guild can be found at sustainabilityguild.wordpress.com or on their facebook page, Sustainability Guild International.


Food Deserts Restricted access to fresh and nutritious food KDVEHFRPHDVLJQLĂ&#x20AC;FDQWSUREOHPLQWKH6W/RXLVUHJLRQ creating isolated neighborhoods called food deserts. These UHJLRQVDUHPDLQWDLQHGE\LQHIĂ&#x20AC;FLHQWSXEOLFWUDQVSRUWDWLRQ VLJQLĂ&#x20AC;FDQWFXOWXUDOGLIIHUHQFHVDQGVWDUNĂ&#x20AC;QDQFLDO disparities.  2QWKHPHWURIRUWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWWLPHDVDIUHVKPDQ I sat across from a woman carrying two bulging plastic grocery bags. Each of her two young sons was carrying another bag. They sat side by side, using only 2 seats. The mother was nodding off against the window. Without a car, it is certainly a challenge to live in St. Louis. Over the past few decades, St. Louis has experienced a growing dependency on cars. This has led to urban VSUDZOWKHWHQGHQF\IRUSHRSOHWRPRYHDZD\IURP cities into suburbs. The mass construction of several interstates crossing the city and county has added to this SKHQRPHQRQ0LGGOHFODVVUHVLGHQWVKDYHĂ HGWKHFLW\ OHDYLQJORZLQFRPHDQGVHQLRUFLWL]HQVZLWKRXWSK\VLFDO RUĂ&#x20AC;QDQFLDODFFHVVWRIUHVKIRRG3RYHUW\DQGHFRQRPLF instability develop in these neighborhoods, and many families rely on fast food restaurants and other cheap alternatives for daily nutrition. While the government has struggled to purge cities of food deserts through legislation, few steps have been taken to provide healthier food options and adequate public transportation in the affected regions. The Soulard Marketplace is an excellent example of a neighborhood providing healthy options for its residents. Walking into this 200 year old market, I was

reminded of the excitement that fresh food brings to a community. The stands were bursting with ripe fruits and colorful vegetables that would not put too much of a dent in my college budget. These warehouses are a haven of fresh food at decent prices, but they are isolated because the market is not accessible from adjacent neighborhoods by a sidewalk. Additionally, the metro does not stop at or QHDU6RXODUG%HFDXVHRIWKLVWKHPDUNHWGRHVQRWDWWUDFW many low income families, even though the produce is fresh and priced well. LaSalle Park, located just south of downtown St. Louis, is a neighborhood considered by the USDA to be a food desert. From this region, the closest sources of fresh food are not easily accessible by foot or public transportation. Save a Lot is a half an hour walk, and Aldi LVDIRUW\Ă&#x20AC;YHPLQXWHZDONRUEXVHV6FKQXFNVLVDQKRXU walk or 2 busses, and Shop n Save is an hour and a half ZDONRUDWZHQW\Ă&#x20AC;YHPLQXWHEXVULGH  *URZLQJIDPLOLHVPXVWZHLJKWKHEHQHĂ&#x20AC;WVRI nutritious food with its expenses and inaccessibility. They PXVWHLWKHUĂ&#x20AC;QGFKLOGFDUHRUWDNHWKHLUFKLOGUHQZLWKWKHP on long trips to the store. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not hard to see why so many families choose closer fast food restaurants. It is also critical to understand the cultural LQĂ XHQFHRIJURZLQJXSZLWKXQKHDOWK\HDWLQJKDELWV7KH disturbing question is that even if food trucks were to deliver fresh food into poor urban communities, would its inhabitants even embrace it? The answer is most likely not. The truth is that the younger generation growing up in food deserts has no interest in fresh produce, and does


not know how to prepare and cook fresh food. Great efforts have been made to rejuvenate urban communities through urban gardening. Gateway *UHHQLQJLVDKLJKO\VXFFHVVIXOQRQSURĂ&#x20AC;WRUJDQL]DWLRQ that believes in the power of fresh food to strengthen communities that have been left in the wake of economic downturn and urban sprawl. It works with the community to initiate urban gardens that produce fresh fruits and vegetables that bring people together and keep them KHDOWK\7KLVRUJDQL]DWLRQDOVRZRUNVZLWKVFKRROVWRWHDFK

children about healthy foods, how to prepare food, and how to grow fresh food through gardening. The %XUQLQJ.XPTXDWZKLFKLVDIĂ&#x20AC;OLDWHGZLWK*DWHZD\ Greening, is a sustainable student-run urban garden here at Washington University. A portion of the produce from the garden is sold in low income neighborhoods that do not have access to fresh food. Urban gardens serve to educate the public about the importance of nutrition, as well as to give certain areas access to fresh food.

Map from http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-desert-locator.aspx


Soulard Neighborhood

6RXODUG)DUPHU¡V0DUNHWLVDZHOOWUDIĂ&#x20AC;FNHGGHVWLQDWLRQZLWKLQ6W/RXLV+RZHYHUWKHVXUURXQGLQJQHLJKERUKRRGLVRIWHQRYHUORRNHG despite being an equally worthy spot to explore. As an historically preserved district, all buildings in the Soulard Neighborhood are UHJXODWHGE\VWUXFWXUDODQGGHFRUDWLYHFRGHV%XLOGLQJKHLJKWVPDWHULDOVVHWEDFNVIURPWKHVWUHHWDQGVLJQDJHDOOIDOOXQGHUWKHFRGHV¡ jurisdiction, keeping the aesthetics of the nieghborhood within the style of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Still, a few structures VOLSWKURXJKWKHFUDFNVKRXVHVOLNHWKHRQHRQWKHWRSULJKWDQGWKHRFFDVLRQDOYDFDQWORWVWLOORFFXS\WKHQLHJKERUKRRG<HWRYHUDOOWKH collective investment in Soulard is far higher than most St. Louis nieghborhoods. Due to the shared sense of purpose and desire to uphold the neighborhoodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s historic roots, Soulard residents have succeeded in creating a vibrant community.


Urban Agriculture As the movement towards more responsible ecological practices KDVWDNHQKROGWHUPVOLNHRUJDQLF´JUHHQÂľDQG´VXVWDLQDEOHÂľ have become vanity labels that drive prices upward and create DVSHFLDOL]HGPDUNHWIRUPRUHDIĂ XHQWFRQVXPHUV7KXVLWKDV EHFRPHLQFUHDVLQJO\GLIĂ&#x20AC;FXOWIRUORZHULQFRPHLQGLYLGXDOVWR SDUWLFLSDWHLQRUEHQHĂ&#x20AC;WIURPHQYLURQPHQWDOO\FRQVFLRXVHIIRUWV Most shocking to consider is the availability of healthy or organic IRRGWRPDUJLQDOL]HGFLWL]HQV:KLOHQRWVWULFWO\DQHFRIULHQGO\ LVVXHWKHODFNRIQXWULWLRXVIRRGLVGHĂ&#x20AC;QLWHO\DUHVXOWRILQFUHDVLQJ prices that make fresh produce unaffordable. These areas of limited availability and low nutritional food quality are known as ´IRRGGHVHUWVÂľ,QVWHDGRIKHDOWK\RSWLRQV´IRRGGHVHUWVÂľRIWHQ feature an abundance of fast food restaurants and convenience stores. An increasing concern over health problems related to WKH$PHULFDQGLHWLVĂ XVKLQJRXWDUHDVWKDWOLPLWWKHFKRLFHVRI consumers and attempting to introduce more options. A wellFRQVLGHUHGVROXWLRQWRWKHSUREOHPRI´IRRGGHVHUWVÂľLVWKH introduction of urban agriculture. Urban agriculture consists of all efforts to produce food in an urban context. This can be done through community, rooftop, balcony, and backyard gardening. Urban agriculture has become a particular area of interest in major cities, like New York, where many new structures include access to gardening surfaces. This VRUWRILQVWLWXWLRQDOL]HGFKDQJHVGRQRWGLUHFWO\DIIHFWLQGLYLGXDOV who live in poverty stricken areas of cities. The new structures erected are pretty exclusively for the upper echelon of society ²WKHVDPHIRONVZKRFDQDIIRUGWREX\RUJDQLFQRWIRULWV nutritional value, but for the social distinction. Despite this inequity, small grassroots projects that aim to bring more affordable healthy food options to poorer residents have started to pushback against the status quo. One such group, New Roots Urban Farm, supports the North Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s St. Louis Place neighborhood. Founded in 2004, this farm donates fresh produce to local shelters and sells food cheaply to local residents, and also runs North City Farmers Market. They EHOLHYH´WKDWLQRUGHUWRFUHDWHDPRUHHFRORJLFDOO\VRXQG lifestyle we must create radical systems that actively oppose the dominant capitalist model of exploitation and oppression.â&#x20AC;?* Similarly, community gardens in various locations around the city have focused on providing fresh produce to the areas they serve. These gardens also work to incorporate members of the FRPPXQLW\LQDFROODERUDWLYHHIIRUWWRUHGHĂ&#x20AC;QHWKHIRRGV\VWHP WKDWOLPLWVIRRGHTXDOLW\7KHLUHIIRUWVZRUNWRHOLPLQDWH´IRRG desertsâ&#x20AC;? and make sure that all city residents have access to affordable as well as healthy food. KWWSQHZURRWVXUEDQIDUPFRPDERXW


*UDIĂ&#x20AC;WL +LVWRULFDOO\JUDIĂ&#x20AC;WLFRPHVZLWKQRWLRQVRIWKHGHUHOLFWDQG a way of projecting anger through vandalism. We see a spray SDLQWHGZDOODQGDXWRPDWLFDOO\LQVWLQFWLYHDSSUHKHQVLRQVĂ RRG RXUEUDLQVLVWKLVSODFHGDQJHURXV"6KRXOG,EHDIUDLG"-HDQQD %U\HUDZULWHUIRU1%&QHZVFRPPHQWHG´7KHPHUHSUHVHQFH RIJUDIĂ&#x20AC;WLGRXEOHVWKHQXPEHURISHRSOHOLWWHULQJDQGVWHDOLQJLQ DQHLJKERUKRRGÂľ +HUH%U\HUHTXDWHVJUDIĂ&#x20AC;WLZLWKYDQGDOLVP trespassing and painting a wall that belongs to someone else. 3HRSOHFRPSODLQWKDWJUDIĂ&#x20AC;WLLVDIĂ&#x20AC;OLDWHGZLWKJDQJVDQGFULPH and that it disrespects the community. +RZHYHUJUDIĂ&#x20AC;WLFDQEHDWUXHDUWIRUPGHSLFWLQJSRZHUIXO messages. Its history stretches back to the earliest art forms of cave paintings and the Roman catacombs. Just as art historians use the wall paintings from antiquity to learn about ancient FXOWXUHVZHFDQORRNWRFRQWHPSRUDU\JUDIĂ&#x20AC;WLWRVHHWKHLVVXHV of our culture; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a raw yet powerful form of activism. 7KHGLIIHUHQFHEHWZHHQWKHDUWRIJUDIĂ&#x20AC;WLDQGPHUHYDQGDOLVP OLHVLQWKHVKDUHGSXEOLFVSDFHRQWRZKLFKJUDIĂ&#x20AC;WLLVSDLQWHG7KH )ORRG:DOOLQ6W/RXLVEHVWSRUWUD\VWKLVGLVWLQFWLRQ%HFDXVH the wall is a communal space, artists from the area take their work very seriously. Instead of profane words or images, the wall contains powerful depictions of faces, statements, and scenes. Several artists have made successful careers out of these ´EHDXWLIXOVWUHHWFULPHVÂľ7KHDQRQ\PRXVJUDIĂ&#x20AC;WLDUWLVW%DQNV\IRU H[DPSOHKDVVXFKDXQLTXHVW\OHWKDWSDVVHUVE\FDQUHFRJQL]H KLVDUWDURXQG/RQGRQ,Q%DQNV\VHFUHWO\VHWXSDQ H[KLELWLRQLQWKH%ULVWRO0XVHXPGLVSOD\LQJKLVRZQLURQLFYLHZ about traditional art. At the Flood Wall, a local artist under the SVHXGRQ\P´(\H]ÂľSDLQWHGDW\SLFDO0LVVRXULIDUPHUVFHQHRQWR the wall, with his mark of an eye on the bail of hay. The artist was GRLQJZRUNIRUWKHDQQXDO´3DLQW/RXLVÂľDFRPPXQDOHIIRUWWR repaint the wall in which artists from all over the country join together. All along the wall we see evidence of artists using the wall as a way to anonymously portray their views of the world. Some images take the shape of caricatures, whereas others predict what the world will look like in 4015. No matter their content, these works come together to illuminate the drab, abandoned St. Louis riverfront in an artistic and thoughtful way. ,QWKDWVHQVHJUDIĂ&#x20AC;WLKROGVWKHDELOLW\WRLOOXPLQDWHDFLW\DQG JLYHLWSHUVRQDOLW\$VDQDUWIRUPJUDIĂ&#x20AC;WLFDQEHWKHPRVWUDZ and powerful representation of an artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s thoughts; it reminds us that cities donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just contain buildings, but also people with their RZQLGHDVDUJXPHQWVDQGYLHZV+RZHYHUJUDIĂ&#x20AC;WLWXUQVIURPDUW into crime when people use it for vandalism. That is why shared SURMHFWVOLNHWKH)ORRG:DOODUHVXFFHVVIXOWKH\DOORZIRURSHQ forms of expression without the worry of invaded property.

IURPKWWSZZZPVQEFPVQFRPLGQVKHDOWKEHKDYLRUWJUDIĂ&#x20AC;WL WULJJHUVFULPHOLWWHULQJVWXG\VKRZV8,6K%'G;


In 1997, Saint Louis dropped 50 grand from the city’s budget to recruit more than 200 of the nation’s most talented JUDIÀWLZULWHUV7KHHYHQWZDV called PAINT LOUIS.


They were sent south of the arch grounds, down a gravel road. To their right were city blocks of boarded-up warehouses, and to their left, a 15-foot tall concrete wall, retaining them from the Mississippi. When they reached Chouteau Avenue, they stepped out of their cars and were handed rollers and cans of spray paint. They were pointed to that raw concrete wall and were told to have at it. And for three days, these guys just let it rip.


The Flood Wall

7KLVZDVWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVWRIĂ&#x20AC;YHFRQVHFXWLYHFLW\VDQFWLRQHGJUDIĂ&#x20AC;WL IHVWVLQ6DLQW/RXLVDWWKHĂ RRGZDOO7KH\GXEEHGWKHHYHQW ´3DLQW/RXLVÂľDQGFODLPHGLWZDVDQDWWHPSWWRFUHDWHDWRXULVW DWWUDFWLRQWREHDXWLI\WKHFLW\$WWKHHQGRIWKHĂ&#x20AC;UVW\HDUPRUH WKDQWZRPLOHVRIWKHĂ RRGZDOOKDGEHHQFRDWHGLQSDLQW3DLQW /RXLVJRWELJJHUDQGELJJHUHYHU\\HDUDPRQJJUDIĂ&#x20AC;WLZULWHUV across the U.S., and in 2001, the fervor of the event was at its highest. Artists came from all over, especially from places like 0LQQHDSROLV0LOZDXNHH/$DQG%URRNO\QZKHUHOD\HUVDQG OD\HUVRIJUDIĂ&#x20AC;WLEODQNHWVWKHEXLOGLQJVRIWKHVHFLWLHV6RZKHQ arriving to Saint Louis, their mouths must have watered over the FLW\¡VFOHDQIDFDGHV%HIRUHWKHHYHQWWKH3DLQW/RXLVRUJDQL]HUV clearly explained that the only sanctioned canvas here was the Ă RRGZDOODQGWKDWWKHFLW\DWODUJHZDVRIIOLPLWV$IWHU3DLQW /RXLVRI¡WKHVHZULWHUVKDGSDLQWHGDQGWDJJHGDVLJQLĂ&#x20AC;FDQW number of illegal walls across the city. After â&#x20AC;&#x2122;01, the city stopped giving out permits for Paint Louis, and the event died. )ROORZLQJWKRVHĂ&#x20AC;YH\HDUVDQGĂ&#x20AC;YHOD\HUVRIEULOOLDQWDUWZRUNWKH Ă RRGZDOOZDVVORZO\VZDWKHGLQFUXGHLPDJHVRIGLFNVQDNHG JLUOVDQGPHVVDJHVOLNH´<RXU0RPÂľDQG´7UDF\0DWWHYUÂľ 7KHORFDOJUDIĂ&#x20AC;WLZULWHUVZKRKDGZLWQHVVHGWKHYDQGDOLVPDQG had watched their own work taint, kept trying to get permits to paint the wall, but the city kept saying no. However, this year, 2012, the city had a change of heart and Paint Louis was revived. From October 5th through the 7th, a quieter Paint Louis took place on just about 50 feet of the wall South of Chouteau Avenue. Only about 15 artists were present, working on ten or VRSLHFHVEXWLQMXQFWXUHWRWKHXQUHĂ&#x20AC;QHGYDQGDOLVPVXUURXQGLQJ them, they knew they were making a colossal change. We went down to the wall on the second day of the event. The writers were still sketching out their work and concealing the last layer of vandalism with long paint rollers. Underground rap and electronic dubstep like Pretty Lights bumped from a white truck with doors wide open. A couple writers were painting and seemed so absorbed in their work that they hardly turned their head when we arrived. Some guys were standing around ZLWKKDQGVLQWKHSRFNHWVRIWKHLU]LSXSKRRGLHV:HZDONHG

up and introduced ourselves. They shook our hands and smiled, but stood with their backs to the wall, territorial to the sketches EHKLQGWKHP7KH\VDLGWKH\ZHUH´ZDLWLQ¡RQVRPHVKLWÂľ/DWHU ZHOHDUQHGWKDW´VKLWÂľFDPHLQWKHEDFNRIDQRWKHUWUXFNLQWKH form of spray paint cans in milk crates. Nothing seemed really urgent, yet everyone was engrossed in the work. One guy, about 20 feet down the wall to the left has taped up massive stencils to the wall. Everyone else painting that day was free-handing their work, except him. He introduced himself to us DV´(\H]Âľ$QG(\H]WXUQHGRXWWREHSUHWW\WDONDWLYH:HIRXQG out heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a full time artist, with a studio on Cherokee Street. When we asked him about what he was doing, he said some restaurant commissioned him to do this piece on one of their walls. He pointed to the stencils that were taped up behind him. ´,GRQ¡WXVXDOO\GRODQGVFDSHVEXWWKLVJX\ZDVOLNHÂś&DQ\RX do a Missouri farm landscape? With hay bails and eyes really WULSSHGRXW"¡$QG,ZDVOLNHÂś<HDK¡¾6R(\H]EURXJKWWKHVHVDPH stencils down to Paint Louis to give them another ride. When we asked him about his design process, he said the prep time IRUWKHVWHQFLOVZDVKRXUVDQGKHVHHPHGSUHWW\FRQĂ&#x20AC;GHQW in that number, 80, like heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s got it down to a science. He said KHVNHWFKHVRXWWKHGHVLJQĂ&#x20AC;UVWDQGWKHQFXWVWKHVWHQFLOV+H told us this particular stencil was cut with a router, but then FDUHIXOO\IROORZHGWKDWVWDWHPHQWZLWK´<RXNQRZHDFKPDWHULDO should be different though.â&#x20AC;? He pointed to his car, a funky little VHGDQWULSSHGRXWZLWKDQH\HSDWWHUQSDLQWHGLQUHG´/LNHP\ carâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stencil was magnetic, so it sticks.â&#x20AC;? We thought that seemed pretty clever. And then we asked him, why stencils? No other ZULWHUVDWWKHZDOOKDGDQ\WKLQJOLNHWKHP+LVUHVSRQVH´,ZRUN in stencils, I do some free-hand stuff, but over the years stencils have become my thing.â&#x20AC;? 6WHQFLOVDUHQ¡W(\H]RQO\WKLQJ$VKLVQDPHPLJKWVXJJHVW KLVWDJLVDQH\H(YHU\JUDIĂ&#x20AC;WLZULWHUKDVDWDJLW¡VOLNHWKHLU signature, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what they sign their work with, or just paint on a building to claim that theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been there. And after we learned this, we started noticing eyes everywhere on the wall, and we remembered other places weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen them before, too. And then


ZHUHDOL]HGWKLVJX\VWDQGLQJLQIURQWRIXVKDVSDLQWHGDOORYHU Saint Louis. So then a question inevitably came to our minds. ´6RGR\RXJHWSHUPLWVIRUHYHU\WKLQJ\RXGR"Âľ+HVWDUHGDWXV VWUDQJHO\´6RPHJX\RYHUWKHUHVDLG\RXDOOJRWSHUPLWVIURPWKH city for this.â&#x20AC;? He still stared. ´,GLGQ¡WNQRZWKDW<RXGRQ¡WQHHGDSHUPLW,PHDQIRUHYHQWV like this, yeah they give them out, but, honestly, if you guys want to come own here and paint seriously, like if a cop comes up, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t run, and just be like, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;What? We canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t paint here? Really? We canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t paint here?â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? He gestured behind him to at least twenty layers of paint on the wall. (\H]PDGHLWSUHWW\FOHDUWKDWKHVDZWKHOHJDOLW\RULOOHJDOLW\ RIJUDIĂ&#x20AC;WLLUUHOHYDQW6LQFHWKH¡VJUDIĂ&#x20AC;WLZULWHUVKDYHEHHQ running from the police in a chase that doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seem to be HQGLQJDQ\WLPHVRRQ/HJLVODWLRQFRQVLGHUVJUDIĂ&#x20AC;WLDYLRODWLRQ

of personal property rights, whether or not the property is in XVHRUQRWRURZQHGSULYDWHO\RUE\WKHJRYHUQPHQW%XWWKLV doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stop writers from spraying walls because they feel that their work isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t corrupting our nation, but enriching it. They see their work as art, poetry, or a social statement crucial to our VRFLHW\WKDWRXUFRXQWU\¡VĂ&#x20AC;UVWDPHQGPHQWHQWLWOHVWKHPWR%XW these two sides begin to entangle and contradict themselves HYHQIXUWKHU7KHJRYHUQPHQWKDVVWDUWHGVDQFWLRQLQJJUDIĂ&#x20AC;WLRQ FHUWDLQVWUXFWXUHVDWFHUWDLQWLPHVOLNHDWWKHĂ RRGZDOO%XWDQ\ artist spraying after hours on even the same structure would be VXVFHSWLEOHWRDUUHVW7KLVFDQPDNHJUDIĂ&#x20AC;WLODZVDQGUHJXODWLRQV seem a little two-faced. 6RDIWHU(\H]PRUHRUOHVVLQYLWHGXVWRWKLVJDPHRIFDWDQG mouse with the police, we asked him how he would feel if we ZHUHWRSDLQWRYHUKLVRZQZRUNDWWKHĂ RRGZDOO

´,PHDQLIVRPHRQHSXWVVRPHWKLQJEHWWHURQWKLVWKDQ,GLG Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m totally cool with it. If somebody puts â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I love Joshâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; over some piece that I spent three weekends on, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m gonna be pissed.â&#x20AC;? And apparently, that happens all the time. It seemed incredible that such an established artist was encouraging amateurs to join him in this form of art, very well knowing that his own work could EHVDFULĂ&#x20AC;FHGIRULW%XWWKDW¡VZKDWVHHPHGWREHGLIIHUHQWDERXW WKHDUWRIJUDIĂ&#x20AC;WL,W¡VWUDQVLHQWDQGGHVWUR\DEOHE\QDWXUH,W¡V QRWKLQJOLNHĂ&#x20AC;QHDUWDUWE\0RQHWDQG3LFDVVRWKDWZLOOIRUHYHU exist sheltered in the hands of curators who will always be there to protect them from evil light exposures, high temperatures and KXPLGLW\*UDIĂ&#x20AC;WLZLOODOZD\VEHVXEMHFWWRGDPDJH,WFRXOGEH

covered up and forgotten almost instantly. The art is vulnerable. %XWDWWKHVDPHWLPHWKDW¡VZKDWPDNHVWKLVĂ&#x20AC;HOGVRH[FHSWLRQDO Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not stagnated like other art. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not stuck in a time capsule JODVVEORFNRQDSRGLXP*UDIĂ&#x20AC;WLDUWLVQ¡WUHDOO\DERXWWKH creation itself, but more of the act of creation. It seems to be DERXWVRFLDOVWDWHPHQWVZKHWKHUWKDW¡VWKHVSHFLĂ&#x20AC;FVWDWHPHQWV by the art itself or the statement of the act as a whole, a community of people constantly in a cat and mouse chase from WKHIX]],W¡VDIRUHYHUWUDQVIRUPLQJH[SUHVVLRQ$QGWKDW¡VZKDW makes the statement of the layers and layers of paint on the Ă RRGZDOOLQ6DLQW/RXLVVRPXOWLGLPHQVLRQDODQGLQFUHGLEO\ powerful.


ISSUES Fall 2012  

Issues is a collaborative, multidisciplinary publication that explores social issues in St. Louis through the lens of architecture and desig...

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