The project provides new spatial and programmatic opportunities for the underserved social, racial and ethnic groups now living on or around Main Street, in downtown Poughkeepsie. The programs are based upon our research of various activities of groups and institutions, from informal gatherings to religious institutions, community centers and ethnic festivals.We propose a flexible infrastructure to expand and leverage their capacity and reach, as well as promoting new local businesses and skill building that would become genius loci of ethnic locals. Our intervention consists of a shared resource center, a cultural hub and temporary structures placed on the city owned vacant land and unused property, located in the spaces between Main street and the arterials. This will allow the city to test the project at a lower cost and in a phased manner.

The initial phase starts by inserting these functions into a part of a built underused parking garage next to the arterialS and using the empty lots around for temporary extensions. The subsequent phase takes the approach of plugging into an existing resource framework and build a symbiotic system of learning and sharing. This attachment to Bardavon theater spreads out in later stages as a cultural node with temporary markets, performances, vocational training centers and public play-scape as a reflection of locals. The system will incorporate a layer social – credit, to encourage small scale growth and locally-beneficial programming. Over time, this system will encourage larger scale activities, drawing in people from the region and contributing to the rejuvenation of the core of Poughkeepsie.
Collaboration: Dissa Raras, Sreyash Dasgupta, Vrinda Sharma

Location:   Poughkeepsie, New York