A great deal of imagination is still needed for the Palmer Street lot as it remains in a legal tangle. Last fall, we gathered over 90 suggestions of what residents hope the Palmer Lot will become in the future. It is still uncertain since its owner is still nowhere to be found, but retains the right to his property since it is current on all taxes, thanks to the mortgage company. Now, it stands, still colorful, with “community” as its tagline, but a bit of a relic before its time. As noted above: imagination is sorely needed! (and perhaps some legal knowledge wouldn’t hurt!)
Come see the ReImagine A Lot campaign and other placemaking projects from across Massachusetts at this year’s ArchitectureBoston Expo (ABX)!
We’re so happy to be a part of it!
Community Garden 11 votes
Community Center 10 votes
Community Movie Theatre 8 votes
Music Center for Children 4 votes
Fun 4 votes
Skate Park 4 votes
Teen / Youth Center 4 votes
Most of the suggestions were unique, but generally related, so we tried out some categories to see if some of the desires can be combined, or could complement each other. There is space for imagination even on such a small lot!
Practically all of the suggestion spaces were filled with the practical, whimsical, provocative, and everything in between. What is your favorite suggestion of what this small lot in the heart of the densely populated Point neighborhood could be? What is missing? View suggestions more closely in the photos below and here with: A Lot of Suggestions diagrammed.
This was the first day that all work was completed at the lot. Almost all of the suggestion lines have been filled over the past few weeks. And so, the kids played and painted the mural with images based on the community suggestions of what the lot could be. Pamela Joye joined us and photographed the afternoon’s events. The photos here are from the following Saturday morning and show the finished space ready for the final community BBQ.
While the Salem Public Space Project brought the white plastic chairs to add to the available seating, the wooden chair was brought by an unknown community member. While not a written suggestion of what the lot could be, it clearly communicates what is needed. Thank you, anonymous chair donor, for helping furnish that need!Whether a garden, movie theater, or community center, I like the suggestion that the lot will be fun!
Thank you to Pamela Joye for capturing the beauty of our lot helpers – here every week to imagine what a former empty lot can become!
After the games, many got t-shirts and some won one of six blue bins. As recycling is now mandatory in Salem, and The Point is its most dense neighborhood, this was a good beginning towards a shift away from the throwing away of all things to a more thoughtful approach to waste management. In fact, as the kids learned, one person’s trash is another’s raw material for entirely new creations!
As kids take turns to photograph the lot three discrete themes emerge: details, portraits, and action shots. Above are the tree stump seats they finished painting today. They add a colorful punch against the brown lot. These were the focus today – and one striking detail: the red against the fall tree canopies.
The action shots
Imagination at the lot was in full swing on Friday. The Bulletin Board is complete and has some good recycling information brought over by four members of the Recycling Committee. A neighbor who has watched the progress on the lot unfold in the past several weeks brought over a gift as well – a lovely painting he made of bright trees featured on the bulletin board. Below, he writes in his suggestion of what this lot could be: “A Gallery of Art.”
The suggestion board has gathered some repeat ideas: a garden, a (much needed) public restroom, a store. The back of the board has a united message painted by over a dozen point children. It reads: “We Love our Point Community.”