Theater of Community: Enabling a Vibrant and Interconnected Community through Careful Preservation of an Architectural Monument
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In his book The Creative City, urbanist Charles Landry speaks at length about hard and soft infrastructure in cities. Hard infrastructure referring to the built environment and the functions that support it and soft infrastructure referring to the less tangible quality of social life and vibrancy of culture in the city. One of the biggest struggles facing growing cities is how to establish quality soft infrastructure as people flock back to urban centers. Along with this comes the responsibility of how to elegantly and appropriately address the neglected, crumbling, or just otherwise underappreciated historical buildings in city centers. The redevelopment of the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Powerhouse in Jersey City, NJ will seek to prove that reworking historical sites into flexible, sustainable, and accessible community theater spaces can become a catalyst for soft infrastructure, and can create more vibrant and interconnected communities in cities.