Resurrection City and architect John Wiebenson

NYT has been doing a great series recently, “Unpublished Black History From the New York Times Archives” and one of the latest articles fts reporting from the 1968, Poor People’s Campaign.

How many Archinectors out there are familiar with the story of “Resurrection City” (see this oral history via American Public Media).

Or the fact that “An architect designed rudimentary tents and wooden structures for temporary residents, and then came a city hall, a general store, a health clinic and a handful of celebrity visitors, including Sidney Poitier, Marlon Brando and Barbra Streisand.

As far as I could tell from a quick search, neither of these topics have been mentioned in news or forums on Archinect.

Did some research and while there is some additional information out there about the architecture of “Resurrection City” there doesn’t seem to be tons…

Best/first – is a 1969 essay Wiebenson wrote in JAPA reflecting on his experience and how “Though temporary, Resurrection City is a useful model of the community development process in action.

Smithsonian Magazine – has a paragraph in an article about the larger movement.

MIT – has a photo of one of the A-frames with a plastic door, available via their digital archive.

WETA’s Boundary Stones blog – focuses more on the movement but has a couple of great photos.

A moving eulogy to the man, by Sam Smith long-time editor of DC Gazette (now the Progressive Review).

Anyone have tips for further reading?

Some photos

Credit: George Tames/The New York Times

 

Also

After my further reading, I suspect he and his work might be a bit more familiar to architects in DC area, as since 2003 AIA DC has awarded the Wieb Award (for Combining Good Architecture with Good Works).

An interesting side-note is that Wiebenson was the author of a comic strip, Archihorse (example below).

On and he is from Denver/CO originally, which I only learned after I read the above strip. Interesting to note that similar conversations continue today (see for example Denver Fugly) in Denver.

A while ago I started a (somewhat) related thread re: participatory-design/performance and political and ecological engagement in architecture and urbanism. Specifically within context of counter/sub-cultural movements of 1960s/70s.

Editor’s note: Cross-posted from Archinect (compare time stamps…)

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not a #Denvernative

So last night, learned that chimeneya/fire-pits are not allowed in Denver city/county. Not a seasonal thing, been getting fair amount of precipitation, just a thing. The three nice gents from Denver Fire Department watched me put out my fire and wished me a good night. I apologized for the poor use of their time.

not a #Denvernative