Friday, October 28, 2011

Window Dressing with Art at Schwartz Market!

Check out our windows at 1317 East Carson Street this weekend and see What's New! Artist Cindy Snodgrass is in the process of installing several beautiful puppet-like beings created in collaboration with other artists and adults and children!  Have a great weekend! Please contact me if you or someone you know is interested in selling their foods or goods at the market. We are renovating, are looking for folks to rent booth space, and plan to re- open in early 2012! Thanks.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Deconstruction at 1317 East Carson Street

Where are we in this project at 1317 East Carson Street the home of Schwartz Market, and What's Next? What are all of our roles in this transition to our new culture, our new, and possibly different way of being?

What is Deconstruction? I learned the word a few Sundays ago when visiting the site of Transformazium in North Braddock, PA. Demolition, "Demo" for short, is the term used in the construction industry and really any industry that works with changing a building from its existing form to something other.

Demolition in an old building often involves removing existing fixtures and walls, down to the studs at times, disposing of the materials in a dumpster headed to a landfill, and then installing new things in the place of what was removed.

Deconstruction, or "Unbuilding", or "Green Deconstruction" is a new way of thinking about this process, at least for me and for those taking the Transformazium tour a few Sundays ago. That tour really got me thinking.  I thank Pam Barroso, a fellow Sustainable Monroevillian for letting me know about the event, which was in collabortion with a current art exhibit the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University.

Four women that live and work in Braddock formed Transormazium. The project is focusing on Deconstruction of a formerly condemned church that they bought in their neighborhood. Their original intention was to put in a community/ commerical kitchen and more. As they started to look at the church and the lot across the street from bottom to top, and inside out and deeply consider what they were doing, they wound up spending a lot of time on the process of undoing the existing structure of the building. As they slowly considered every piece of everything they were dealing with, they realized they were engaging with community in a special way. a real way. An every day way. They often find themselves explaining what they are doing because they are doing it slowly and mindfully. They are thinking about what they are doing and considering the idea of Cradle To Cradle.

So back to E. Carson Street, and where are we in what we are doing? We are in the process of implementing a short term plan so our family can retain ownership of the building. We need to make sure the building is occupied by paying tenants in short order. We are looking for tenants to rent booths similar to what the Pittsburgh Public Market in Pittsburgh's Strip district has done. Please contact us by replying to this blog or e-mailing if you are interested in occupying the space. Implementing the short term plan, we intend to open the market space by March 1, 2011. How does that fit into the long term vision that you've read glimpses of earlier in this blog site? As we work towards the Living Building Challnge, we will meet LEED EB and LEED EBOM, I think it's called. The OM stands for Operations and Management... Yesterday we moved aside some ceiling tiles and peeked behind them to see some beautiful tin ceiling tiles, with lots of lead paint flaking off of them. We are getting bids to remove and remediate asbestos floor tiles and lead paint throughout the building. With each step we are considering the ideas of deconstruction rather than demolition. We are paying attention to our health, the health of those that will be doing the work, and the health of those that will be occupying the building in the future.

Deconstruction, the word itself is so much softer and less harsh. We need to be differently as we move through this process.

Brad Hochberg of Energreen revealing what is above that drop ceiling. Thanks Brad!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

From the top of 1317 East Carson Street, visualizing one green rooftop at a time!

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank's, Kerri LaCharite and James Harrell, Jr., will be speaking at 7:00 PM, October 3, 2011 in the downstairs program room of the Monroeville Public Library. Come join us to see the new USDA People's Garden and to learn about volunteer opportunities, food security and more.  Let's start the conversation about Food, Not Lawns! So, as the urbanites grow more food on their rooftops, and the suburbanites grow more and more food on their lots, we'll be making it available at 1317 East Carson Street/ Schwartz Market. Linking suburban food production to the urban core!  See you there!

Perhaps the Beehive and City Theatre will grow food on their rooftops too? How about a beehive or two or three on top of the Beehive? Collaboration and cooperation is what it's all about!