Studio

Wealthy Street Studio

646 1/2 Wealthy St. SE

April 18, 2008

George Wietor

This inflatable structure is a reaction to overly nostalgic recreations of urban commercial architecture. Historic main street programs and "festival" marketplaces are practical new urbanist strategies for creating allusions to populated and unfractured urban commercial landscapes. However, this fondness for the architectural kitsch of the "good old days" of American city life is ironically bereft of the intense racial and social inequities inherent to those eras we most often seek to recreate. Such selective nostalgia is problematic because it divorces "good" from the total context wherein many of society's true values are reflected. This project uses spectacle and novelty, not unlike that of the festival marketplace, to recreate a unique commercial structure at it's most dilapidated state --- a ghost casualty of urban renewal.