Spencer’s Art House Think Tank

Sep. 29, 2012

520 University Ave., Flint, MI

Andrew Perkins and Matthieu Bain organized a workshop with 25 members of the Carriage Town neighborhood to discuss possible adaptive reuse strategies for the former Spencer’s Mortuary,  a very prominent but long-abandoned building on Carriage Town’s most problematic corner. The goal was turn it from drug haven and visual blight into an incubator for creativity and community. They presented a plan to renovate the building using reclaimed materials to keep the budget low, to lessen environmental impact, and to realize the excess of buildings in Flint as valuable rather than detrimental.
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Following a quick introduction and analysis of Flint (and beyond), the workshop involved a two-stage process of identifying potential roadblocks and opportunities, including possibilities for artistic collaboration, historic preservation or building code guidance and negotiation, material salvaging, and creating a sensible, desirable, and sustainable programmatic model for the future of Spencer’s.