We propose to install a 12 ft tall giant red or yellow Adirondock chair at 911 Portage. The Birthday Chair will have a height ruler on one leg so families may come each year to take pictures of their children on their birthdays, to document their growth through the years and post on Facebook.
Public art installations are a key part of our plan to activate Portage Midtown, a sustainable urban infill neighborhood demonstation project we are developing along Portage, in and around the corners of California and Rex. Through Portage Midtown we will demonstrate how high performance building techniques can be used to construct sustainable missing middle housing and small to moderate sized mixed use and commercial sturctures that produce as much energy as they use. We will integrate the principles of new urbanism, strong towns, complete streets, walkability, multimodal transportation, blue zones, placemaking, public art and health and wellness into Portage Midtown. Our goal is to show how all of these innovations can be used as a catalyst for urban infill that can be replicated throughouth the NNN, South Bend, and beyond.
Phase one of Portage Midtown is under construction, six net zero homes being built on Shetterley Triangle, off the corner of Portage and California, in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity.
Phase two is the rennovation of 909 and 905 Portage (909 completed). Our challenge is to activate this stretch of Portage. We believe interactive public art is one key to such activation and that the Birthday Chair will help do this.
In addition to the Birthday Chair, we will create Redbud Lane, a "green alley" behind 909 and 911. It will include picket fences on both sides of alley with a row of Redbuds inside each, and wildflowers along the 1 ft verge between fence and alley.
We will also create a large wild flower garden with a single Redbud tree in the middle, surrounded by a patio made of chimney bricks reclaimed from 905 Portage, as a focal point.
Funded by South Bend, IN (June 2018)