In 2016, the Pulitzer commissioned Berlin-based architecture collective raumlaborberlin to create a work that responded to the vacant properties in St. Louis. Working closely with neighborhood residents, the City of St. Louis, and key figures in urban planning and organizing, raumlabor set out to reimagine uses for vacant buildings and their assets, engage community members in visioning the future of the city, and create space to witness and claim history. The commission, titled 4562 Enright Avenue, was centered on the demolition of an abandoned home, where salvaged materials from the house were transformed into an installation in the Pulitzer’s galleries before being donated to local reuse companies. Their project engaged St. Louisans in a careful analysis and discussion about demolition practices, about our ideas of home, and how cities are built, sustained, and transformed through time.
Following the demolition of the house at 4562 Enright in August 2016, the neighbors formed a block association and solidified a five-year lease on the plot of land where the house once stood. The Pulitzer has continued their partnership with the neighbors by connecting them with a local landscape designer, Micah Stanek, who designed a wildflower butterfly garden and community gathering space using bricks salvaged from the former building.
On September 23, raumlabor joined Enright neighbors, Stanek, and members of the Pulitzer team for the official launch and build-day for the garden, a meaningful way to bring together collaborators nearly two years after the collaboration began. The site is aimed for completion in the spring of 2018.
Image Credit: Photograph © 2016 Alise O’Brien Photography