Sunday, July 6, 2014

RIP: The Urban Design Center is Gone [2492*]


I spotted it in the summer of 2011 and first photographed it on July 25, 2011. The building, as you can see in the photo above, was in sad shape, with part of the roof and exterior walls gone. The interior was a wreck. But the graffiti on the outside tells that it had already begun functioning as an urban design center; there was graffiti inside as well.

Its best days were yet to come, Kasso from Trenton, Lush from Oz,  Beset rockin’ a roller on the exterior of the north wall – for starters. It also did duty as a drop-in center for homeless people.

No more. It has now been reduced to piles of rubble. I shot this yesterday, July 5, 2014:


I'm a bit further back (from what used to be the building) in this second picture. To match the two views, look at the utility pole at the right in the first picture; you can see that same pole to the right in the second one, in front of the steam shovel. That steam shovel had been onsite when I visited the design center in early May of this year and the final demolition was well under the way. Look closely at that steam shovel as it appeared in May:


Other than “Fuck DAM PoLice” near the base of the arm it seemed clear of graffiti. That’s no longer the case. The Aids crew has bombed it:




Such are the ways of urban designers. Always adapting to the demands of the situation. See an abandoned building falling into disrepair? What to do? Design it, write on it, and thereby reclaim it for civilization, albeit the underground civilization of the mole people, Gojira, and the star children of the Anthropocene. See a steam shovel turning your design center into rubble and thereby reclaiming it for the dying civilization out-of-control global financiers? Take their tool from them. Write on it, thereby designing it into the future world order of transnational artists, cyberghosts, and raving celestial prophets.

It’s a process. It won’t stop.

But I digress.

Remnants of former residents are clearly visible in the rubble:




And the inscriptions are visible in fragments:





That last is clearly the cross piece from the “A” in “Ache” which I’d flicked in May (on the right-hand wall):


This is one of the few walls that still remain:


But it was an interior wall when I shot it in May. Notice also that there was no yellow spot under the nose:


I don’t know just when that character – as it’s known in the vernacular of the aerosol spelunkers – went up on the wall, but it wasn’t there in October of 2013, which is the last time’s I’d visited the design center prior to my teleportation this May. Perhaps this sticker went up at the same time:


Now the sticker (lower left corner) is within sight range of the wall aerosol (upper right):


Rubble does that.


I suppose the land will be sold, perhaps it already has been, and something new will be built here. But they’ve blocked up the doors and windows of this little building across the access road, as though they wanted to preserve it for some reason.


Whatever the reason, the result is a cinder-block cross in the middle of the façade. And that cross mirrors the iron cross sticking up from the rubble of the design center:


The hierophants win again.

Turning chaos into cosmos.

The art of the street.

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I’ve done a number of posts about this site, all of them tagged “urb design center”. There’s a Flickr set HERE.

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* I’m counting down to the 2500th post. This is #2492, hence the number after the title.

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