There’s an active push in Louisville to demolish vacant and abandoned properties. But what happens to those lots after the houses come down? In York, Alabama, an innovative partnership between artists and the community has addressed a lack of public space in town by transforming a blighted property into an interactive, usable community arts and gathering venue.
Architect and artist Matthew Mazzotta collaborated with the Coleman Center for the Arts in York to turn an abandoned building into a free open-air theater venue that folds back up into a compact house shape when not in use. It takes four people about 90 minutes to unpack the venue from its resting state. Now the community uses the theater for plays, movie screenings, music shows and more.
While it might not be feasible to turn every lot emptied by a demolished abandoned house into an arts venue, the prospect of vacant lots dotting residential neighborhoods troubles residents in targeted neighborhoods. Vacant property space re-purposed into unique community resources could be one answer.
Watch the abandoned property transform into Open House: