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School of Architecture to present UPSTATE: downtown, symposium on Syracuse and the ‘shrinking city,’ April 6
School of Architecture to present UPSTATE: downtown, symposium on Syracuse and the ‘shrinking city,’ April 6March 24, 2005Jaime Winne Alvarez firstname.lastname@example.org
Syracuse University’s School of Architecture will present UPSTATE: downtown, a free, daylong symposium, April 6 beginning at 9 a.m. in the Everson Museum of Art’s Hosmer Auditorium, 401 Harrison St. The symposium is the inaugural program of UPSTATE: an institute for city and regional design. The UPSTATE institute, based in the School of Architecture, is an umbrella organization for the School’s community outreach programs, created to engage both city and county governance. UPSTATE is dedicated to understanding the challenges of the city of Syracuse and the region as they intersect with architecture, urban design, planning and landscape architecture; it collaborates with cultural, academic and civic institutions, regionally, nationally and internationally, to further local and national discussion on development, architecture and environment.
The April 6 program will focus on urban revitalization strategies in Syracuse with reference to other successful models across the country. The symposium, co-sponsored with the Everson, is free and open to the public. SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor, Syracuse Mayor Matthew J. Driscoll and SU School of Architecture Dean Mark Robbins will welcome symposium participants and introduce the day’s proceedings.
“At the threshold of the 21st century, the University, the city and the region have an historic opportunity to collaborate in revitalizing the urban heart of Syracuse,” says Chancellor Cantor. “We have a host of educational, economic, artistic and societal possibilities.”
Proposals for rethinking downtown Syracuse, prepared by SU faculty and students, will be shown alongside projects by architects, landscape architects and planners that have been catalytic in cities such as Oakland, Louisville, Newark and Philadelphia. Invited guests will present illustrated examples of projects and proposals for the redesign of cities. They include Walter Hood of Hood Design, Oakland, Calif.; Marilyn Jordan Taylor of Skidmore Owings & Merrill, New York; Maxine Griffith of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission; and Mary Margaret Jones of Hargreaves Associates, Cambridge, Mass.
Proposals for Syracuse will be presented at noon by two teams that include SU architecture Professors Lawrence Davis, Ivan Rupnik and Terrance Goode and Columbia University Professor Brian McGrath.
A roundtable discussion, moderated by SU Associate Professor of Architecture Julia Czerniak, will follow the proposal presentations at 2:30 p.m. It will feature nationally recognized designers, SU architecture faculty and representatives from the city of Syracuse, including Elizabeth Kamell, SU assistant professor of architecture; Bethaida Gonzalez, president of the Syracuse Common Council and acting dean of University College; Van Robinson of the Syracuse Common Council; Irwin Davis, president of the Metropolitan Development Association; and Edward Kochian, deputy county executive for Onondaga County.
The goal of the roundtable is to begin dialogue among varied constituencies that promotes an understanding of the potential of the city-envisioning it as a place to work, live and create.
The symposium reflects concern with an array of cities that have experienced dramatic disinvestment in downtown and an increase in commercial and residential development at their edges. These places, having lost much of their economic base and population, are increasingly less dense and often lack means to fill vacated areas productively. As such, they have been referred to as ‘shrinking cities’ and present a condition that is endemic in the United States and abroad.
“We see design as a critical part of rethinking this situation and see the School of Architecture as uniquely poised to be a conduit for the best contemporary thinking about urban revitalization,” says Robbins.
Following the symposium will be a free, public reception at The Warehouse-the former Dunk & Bright Warehouse, 350 West Fayette St. University plans call for the site to house the School of Architecture by January 2006.
Reception highlights will include tours of the facility, installations of faculty and student work, projection pieces and a sound artist spinning audio. UPSTATE: downtown is part of “University as Public Good: Exploring the Soul of Syracuse,” the inaugural-year exploration designated by Chancellor Cantor.
For more information and to register for the symposium, please call (315) 443-1292