In complex urban contexts, architecture sometimes comes undone: economic austerity, unbridled blight remediation, even naturalized iconoclasm all contributing to the disappearance of important historic sites. In response, we explore ways to act in urgency. Recently, a group of guerrilla preservationists organized an intervention at the Blue Bird Inn, a small, nondescript storefront located on 5021 Tireman. There is little indication on the simply painted fa├žade that legendary music performances once happened here. With permission from the building owner, and in collaboration with the Detroit Sound Conservancy, we documented the stage where John Coltrane, Yusef Lateef, and Alvin Jackson once placed. Kenneth Gill played the trombone as the team carefully removed the historic artifact and secured it for storage. The stage can be reinstalled when the architecture is stabilized, or at an alternate location.

RADICAL PRESERVATION, 2015 - present

Detroit, Michigan

 

Principal investigator:

Jean Louis Farges

 

In collaboration with:

Detroit Sound Conservancy and DAMI

 

Project team:

Eric Howard, Lorin Brace