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UPSTATE at Syracuse Architecture receives $2.5 million for sustainable urban revitalization project
UPSTATE at Syracuse Architecture receives $2.5 million for sustainable urban revitalization projectOctober 31, 2007Mary Kate O’Brienmcobrien@syr.edu
UPSTATE: A Center for Design, Research and Real Estate at the Syracuse University School of Architecture will receive $2.5 million as part of SU’s plan to reinvest a $13.8 million debt repayment in the Near Westside Initiative Inc.’s efforts to create the Syracuse Arts, Technology & Design Quarter.
UPSTATE will engage nationally recognized architects, landscape architects and planners, and local architectural firms to create a sustainable urban revitalization project. The project will also include experts in design, marketing, real estate development, policy and finance.
“The Arts, Technology & Design Quarter is the perfect embodiment of our vision of Scholarship in Action,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “The level of support reflects the centrality of architecture, planning and design in the vision for the future of the University, the city and the region.”
The Arts, Technology & Design Quarter initiative is the first project of the Near Westside Initiative Inc., a collaboration between public and private entities that was incorporated to acquire, renovate and rehabilitate vacant and neglected buildings on Syracuse’s Near Westside. A group of former warehouse and commercial structures will be transformed into residences and workspaces for artists, designers and innovators, using advanced environmental concepts and green technologies. As part of this large-scale development project, the rehabilitation of current single-family housing is planned through a partnership between Home Headquarters and the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems. Students and faculty of the School of Architecture will assist in the design of renovations and will work with community members to envision the future of the neighborhood.
A competition for infill housing on the vacant lots in the area will be held in 2008, focusing on sustainable designs that respond to the character and density of this historic neighborhood.
“UPSTATE will use this support to develop innovative design approaches though curricular programs at the School of Architecture. These will both expand the field of knowledge for our students as young architects and will have a dramatic impact on the quality of life of the residents of the city’s West Side,” says Mark Robbins, dean of the School of Architecture. “This work will extend to proposals for landscape and infrastructure that will serve as models of innovative and sustainable practices that build on the assets of a community.”
The funding will support not only property acquisition but also the work of the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems — to develop and test “green” technologies that promote human health, creativity, comfort and ecosystem sustainability in the workplace — and the South Side Innovation Center (SSIC), which supports the creation and nurturing of emerging and start-up businesses.
UPSTATE: A Center for Design, Research and Real Estate was created in 2005 as a resource for the city, campus and region to address critical issues of urban revitalization in the city of Syracuse, upstate New York and other regions of disinvestment nationally. Recent initiatives have focused on the redevelopment of downtown Syracuse, including a studio working on artist relocation housing and commercial uses for the Near Westside warehouse district. The studio, supported by the Judith Seinfeld Foundation, was taught by architect Julie Eizenberg of Koning Eizenberg with architecture professor Julia Czerniak, director of UPSTATE. Koning Eizenberg is currently working on plans for the new WCNY headquarters and media education center on the Near westside.
UPSTATE also presents annual public programming and will host the exhibition “Syracuse Builds: After the Master Plan,” a survey of 13 new building, landscape and infrastructure projects currently in progress on the SU campus and in the city of Syracuse. The opening reception for the exhibition will be at the Architecture Gallery in The Warehouse on Nov. 1. The exhibition coincides with the symposium “Writing the City” on Nov. 15, also at The Warehouse, exploring the role of the media in shaping public understanding of architecture and urban design featuring leading national journalists.
For more information, contact Mary Kate O’Brien, communications manager of the School of Architecture, at (315) 443-2388 or firstname.lastname@example.org.