Dear Tumblr followers,
You are invited to the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space Grand Opening Party on Saturday, December 8!
The museum will open to the public at 3pm. We are holding events throughout the day, including a chain-cutting ceremony, museum and community garden tours, slide-shows, and presentations by community organizers.
Later that evening, join us for a big grand opening party, complete with music, dancing, a marching band, and plenty of food and drinks.
Let’s celebrate the opening of our very own community history museum on Saturday, December 8 — spread the word and come join us at our official launch! RSVP here.
Grand Opening Party for the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (MoRUS)
Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
MoRUS Storefront at C-Squat
155 Avenue C, NYC (on the west side of the street between 9th and 10th Streets)
8/12/2012: Mosaic Storefront Sign Work Day @ MoRUS.
” Making Buildings Work: the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center
Between 2002 and 2010, the United States suffered a 25 percent reduction in the number of manufacturing jobs. Over the same period, New York City experienced a 46 percent loss of approximately 64,000 manufacturing jobs. The high costs of real estate and labor certainly inhibit large-scale mass production operations from remaining in or choosing to locate in New York. But a combination of specific land use policy decisions and speculative real estate development practices has further constrained the supply of industrial buildings and therefore accelerated the decline of the kind of middle class job opportunities that manufacturing has historically provided to New Yorkers: stable, skilled and well-paid. According to the New York Industrial Retention Network (an economic development and advocacy organization that is now a project of the Pratt Center for Community Development), between 2001 and 2008, approved rezonings removed 23.4 million square feet of industrial space from New York City. So, while the assembly line production plants — businesses that don’t benefit from proximity to New York’s markets — have migrated to other parts of the country and the world over the past few decades, a new breed of manufacturers — small-scale, artisanal and oriented to local markets – have struggled to find space to make stuff.
Enter the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center (GMDC), a non-profit industrial developer that over the past twenty years has rehabilitated six North Brooklyn buildings and made more than 750,000 square feet of space available to small manufacturers, artisans and artists. The 99 businesses currently operating in GMDC facilities currently employ over 500 people. In addition to the local economic development benefits, the environmental advantages of retrofitting existing buildings to enable the production of local goods by local workers are huge. The greenest building, after all, is the one you have already. GMDC’s model is starting to receive attention from other cities around the country eager to help bring industrial jobs back to their communities. We sat down with Brian Coleman, CEO of GMDC, to discuss this model, the changing nature of manufacturing and the increasing challenges to making buildings that respond to cultural, demographic and economic shifts in urban industry.”
Via: Urban Omnibus
Photo: courtesy of the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center.
Liz Christy in 1975, in one of the Lower East Side gardens she started. Photo by Donald Loggins.
“The collective work of homesteaders and squatters to stabilize an environment of spiraling decline was joined by the Lower East Side’s community garden movement, which sought to reclaim turf from encroaching urban blight. The resident gardeners set out to transform vacant lots strewn with trash, bricks, old appliances, and automobiles into green spaces. The movement’s first community garden began in 1973, when a group of residents threw balloons containing plant seeds and bulbs into a large fenced-in parcel on Houston Street near Bowery. The activists, who called themselves Green Guerillas, assisted local residents and block associations in starting gardens and, at times, gaining permission to use city-owned properties…”
- Christopher Mele, Selling the Lower East Side: Culture, Real Estate, and Resistance in New York City.
Touring the Lower East Side Ecology Center, a garden between Avenues B and C on 7th Street. For more information on MoRUS tours, visit http://www.morusnyc.org/tours