Urban Evolution

Patrick McCleary

Fall and rise of a structure in a neighborhood can alter the character and feel of the place. The persistent thumping of hammers and whining of saws drones on for days, weeks and months; to the point we begin to dismiss them, neglect to hear them stop. One day we find the construction site in the neighborhood silent and empty except for the partially erected skeleton of a building or rusting rebar protruding from a half completed foundation. It has been a construction site so long it went unnoticed that the saws and hammers had stopped. What can or should be done with these sites? Many have fallen derelict and become grand and elaborate dumpsters. Some become local harbors for drugs and prostitution at night and ball fields and impromptu play fields by day. Some of these places are dangerous, some of them are ugly, and all of them are interesting fragments of the neighborhood.

Contained here are snapshots of five sites in various stages of construction or neglect. Surely there is an interim state that benefits these neighborhoods other than being a large trash receptacle.

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