Sunday, June 19, 2011

Diamond In The Rough

The Sears Crosstown building has been the backdrop for many an aspiring photographer's black and white urban decay meditations and surely every Memphian has thought, "That would make a cool skatepark, shopping center, gallery/museum/cultural learning center, school, beach club, library, gym, whatever..." You can make those suggestions to the appropriate channel here. Personally I imagine it as the setting for Bruce Sterling's "Bicycle Repairman"; a post apocalyptic apartment building requiring some climbing training in order to be a resident (you already knew I was a sci-fi nerd).

But who's gonna back these ideas? The job of attracting the potential investors has been left to three artistic projects, decided upon by the public at a $25/ticket dinner curated by MemFEAST. One of those projects, titled "Diamond In The Rough" pairs locals Eli Gold and Colin Kidder in a collaborative venture to hang a "disco" ball made from 100 bicycle wheels from the side of the building.

If you're scratching your head and saying "WTF?" right now, please take a moment and click this link. Now you see what they're trying to accomplish.

When we think about connectivity in cycling terms it's about navigation. (I love that there are bike lanes on Southern but I still ride on "unprotected" streets to get to them.) Kidder and Gold have brought connectivity into the visual realm and have wittingly created a destination. With their efforts to sync the proposed Greenline developments with their vision they will be attracting any number of ideas and investors to the Crosstown doorstep. The amount of people riding the Greenline is only increasing and there are people out there who will ride the length to say that they did it and who will stumble upon Kidder and Gold's sculpture; then there are people like me who will ride to Sears Crosstown just to see it. I just really hope their creation is kinetic like that which atops Live From Memphis headquarters.

Get more information at the Overton-Broad Connector Design Workshop this Tuesday at 5:30PM:

From Livable Memphis: Overton-Broad Connector

The Overton-Broad Connector will be a premier example of a safe and innovative bicycle/pedestrian facility and urban art trail that serves as a catalyst for urban revitalization and business development. Upon completion, it will provide the connectivity for cyclists of all types to enjoy traveling from Shelby Farms to the Mississippi River and beyond.

Looney Ricks Kiss (Architects and Urban Planners), Alta Greenways (Bicycle and Pedestrian Planners), Fuss O' Neill (Transportation & Landscape Planners) and Powers Hill (Civil Engineering) will be conducting a design workshop for the Overton-Broad Connector area. Come share your input on the future of the area.

Event Date
Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Event Location
West Memorials, 2481 Broad Avenue

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