It’s difficult to gauge where to start. With the other house just a couple blocks away where I can rest, shower, use a toilet, cook, and keep things relatively safe, the obvious survival necessities no longer drive the project. Material availability and spontaneity will still exist, but because the survivalist aspect has diminished, there isn’t any need to rush for solutions. And for the time, the public aspect to this renovation is still up in the air. I’ve been asked to turn the first floor into everything from an artists’ colony, to a Deli (with an old Jewish man running it), to a museum covering Mr. Spencer’s great dedication to the Civil Rights movement (he regularly held meetings there). As I start to understand the context of Flint more, and continue conversations with locals I’ll be able to decide better how to insert this project into the neighborhood.
A (poorly shot) video tour of the house to give a better sense of the space:
For the time being, there are several areas in the house that are far beyond patching up – two collapsing floors and a misshapen roof on the Northeast corner to begin with.
The existing system is a complex tensile structure.
Though physically easy to pull apart because of their condition, it takes some improvisation to be able to reach and pull them without caving the entire floor onto my head. From above, there is no stable structure to stand on, and the tallest ladder currently available is just 6’. Rakes, ropes, and at one point a thrown sledgehammer do the job.