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Upcoming Exhibit Attempts to Address St. Louis's Declining Population

The Pulitzer Arts Foundation and raumlaborberlin will rebuild a house slated for demolition

The Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis, Missouri will attempt to answer the age-old question of what a house represents and how it reflects our lives, desires, and dreams, by mounting an exhibit that takes salvaged parts of an abandoned house nearby and uses them to temporarily rebuild it in its gallery. The shell of the original home will continue to stand on its site—but only for a short while longer—just a few blocks away.

The City of St. Louis has seen a dramatic decline in the number of residents that live there—a drop of 60% since its peak population in the 1950s—which has translated to vacant and deteriorating properties taking over the urban landscape. Currently, there are over 7,000 vacant buildings, most of them homes, and half of them are designated as unsafe (and many slated for demolition).

One such building is a home at 4562 Enright Avenue. It is located one block north of Delmar Boulevard, which has come to be known as the Delmar Divide, a racial and socioeconomic dividing line that cuts through St. Louis. The Tadao Ando-designed Pulitzer building is two blocks south of Delmar and several blocks east of the house.

Here, Berlin-based architecture collective raumlaborberlin, in consultation with local residents and other key figures in urban planning, will reimagine the house at 4562 Enright, using its salvaged materials in hopes of inspiring discussion about how to address the conditions in St. Louis and how to rebuild for the future.

The exhibition opens on July 29 and runs through October 15. Head on over to the New York Times for the full story.