Porches: Art and Renewal on River Street

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9780970073860: Porches: Art and Renewal on River Street

When MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) opened in 1999, it was hailed as the largest contemporary art center in the United States and also a symbol of economic revitalization in a blue-collar New England mill town. The story of how MASS MoCA came to be was eloquently told in MASS MoCA from Mill to Museum. Now, three essays about the transformation of a row of mill houses across the street from the museum, accompanied by over 100 color photographs, form the perfect companion to this earlier book and extend the story from the museum to the town itself.

Porches: Art and Renewal on River Street is about the transformation from mill housing to guest housing, and more: it’s about the transformation of a city as it retools itself for the 21st century and about the marriage of art and commerce in an industrial mill town. It’s about innovative urban renewal, and sensitive architectural design that transforms a property while respecting the history of its place. And, in the words of photographer Nicholas Whitman, this book is about the "back and forth" through the windows: from the people in the early 1900’s who looked out the windows of their River Street apartments to the mill where they worked across the river to the entrepreneurs, architects, and museum visitors of the 21st century who looked through those same windows, from the museum to the inn, and from the inn to the museum, and saw a parallel sort of socio-economic interaction across River Street. It’s a way of viewing things.

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About the Author:

William Morgan teaches the history of architecture at Wheaton College and is the architecture critic for Art New England Magazine.

Joe Manning is the author of Disappearing into North Adams and Steeples: Sketches of North Adams.Nicholas Whitman is a photographer and the author of A Window Back: Photography in a Whaling Port. His photographs were featured in MASS MoCA: From Mill to Museum.

Jennifer Trainer is the author of nine books and MASS MoCA’s Director of External Affairs. She was editor of MASS MoCA: From Mill to Museum.

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