I chose to interpret the site based on three major themes: interactivity, access, and decay. These themes led me to propose to transform the jail into a community art space and event center.
Community Art Space and Event Center
For me, the significance of the site is tied to the physical and social history of the jail, but also to the history of the community around it, which has been using the site since its abandonment. I chose to interpret the site based on three major themes: interactivity, access, and decay. These themes led me to proposing to transform the jail into a community art space and event center. The transformation will be carried out in two phases:
Phase 1 is a series of weekend events. This isn’t the main focus of my proposal, but I envision a series of weekend photography exploration events to document the site’s current condition, further foster community pride in the site, and also to help break down the stigma against this abandoned place of incarceration.
Phase 2 is to convert the current site into a community art space and event center. A permanent exhibition will showcase the work from the photography event in the North Wing. Rotating installations on social topics, such as incarceration, will be in the West Wing, along with studio space and darkrooms. An event space will occupy the East Wing, and this will bring in enough revenue to maintain the rest of the site.
The walls will be treated with a translucent white sealer to create a more exhibition-like space. This treatment should also allow for the existing graffiti to show through.