Finally after a first round of edits, the book chronicling my travels, adventures, sketches, and photos from this year-long foray into alleyways is available at blurb.com. Please email me if you have any questions. You can purchase it from the link above!
Thank you for supporting my work.
– Daniel Toole
Please keep your calendars marked for my exhibit on my travels.
The exhibit, “Tight Urbanism”, scheduled for its’ opening reception May 11, 2011 will showcase the findings of the AIA Seattle Emerging Professionals Travel Fellowship travel through several mediums including photographs, sketches, video, and physical models. The exhibit is slated to run from May11 to July 1st, with a potential move to the International District in July.
I will be at the Nord Alley to hand out invites to the exhibit on Thursday, May 5 at their alley party. I highly recommend everyone to come to this for the debut of their permanent art installation in the alley, food, music, and more. Please stay tuned.
Let me know if you have any questions, or if you’d like to schedule a private tour of the exhibit, I am happy to take groups, individuals, and organizations throughout May and June.
– Daniel Toole
Detroit has been the most powerful experience in this research endeavor to date. In a city devastated by social, urban, and financial situations for the last half-century, the transformation of space can have incredible impact on its existence.
The folks at the green garage, Tom and Peggy Brennan, purchased an old model T warehouse in 2008 adjacebt to Motor City Brewery with a vision to transform the incredibly blighted Midtown into a green hub. The building is to serve as an incubator for small businesses focused on green practices and technologies through a communal style office. The alley behind the business just finished construction this month and is already established its presence as a harbinger of change to the neighborhood, and perceptually the whole Midtown area. This project really serves as a witness to the power of community members taking initiative and executing a good idea. This alley will transform, no doubt, the block and community in many ways in the years to come.
I was also able to visit the abandoned Central Train Station and Mies’ Lafayette Park near the downtown. The amount of ruins in the city is phenomenal and almost surreal. Plants have begun to take the buildings back into the earth due to half a century of neglect.
I would like to thank Tom and Peggy Brennan of the Green Garage, my friend and former classmate Jessica Hartwig, and The Motor City Brewery for a fantastic lesson in American urbanism. You can follow the Green Alley and Green Garage’s progress here
This Saturday, September 11th, I will embark on trip two. I will spend four days in Chicago and three days in Detroit. While in Chicago I will be meeting with the Department of Transportation in regards to their Green Alleys program that has successfully remodeled a number of downtown alleys. I will also be meeting with photographer Bob Thall, whose book, City Spaces, explores alleys and their role in the city’s identity.
“Investigating these spaces reminded me of my earlier sense of the city as a mysterious landscape to explore. My history as a Chicagoan, my history as a photographer, the history of the city, and, in a small way, the history of photography—without any plan or anticipation, these photographs brought these histories together for me.” – Bob Thall
While in Detroit, I will visit the Green Garage and their freshly remodeled alley on their grand opening day, Thursday. I will also be taking an architecture tangent to Cranbrook while in the city. Let me know if you have any additions to these maps, or if you know of any interesting alleys in either city. Check back throughout next week for frequent posts.