Bridgeport ceramic artist Dan Pugh has enlisted the help of architect-friend Tabitha Ponte in rendering a vision for a community arts education center at the least-developed corner of 31st & Morgan— "the Hipster Triangle" to some. It pesters Pugh that there should be "a sort of dead wall, a blank space" opposite the uber-hip neighborhood outposts of Maria's Packaged Goods, Pleasant House Bakery, and Bridgeport Coffee, he reveals in conversation with DNAinfo. Not knowing if the corner's existing apartment building, laundromat, or vacant lot are even for sale (they're not), Pugh and wife Lynn Barnett, who together run arts company Eugene Barnett & Associates, still wish to rattle the cage with a bold concept and modernist architecture in a deliberate and often sluggish neighborhood. As Ponte tells DNAinfo, it took eight or nine iterations to settle on something that's "very pragmatic and very utilitarian."
On the off chance all the pieces come together for this vision—the lots, the funding, and the community support—the team would deliver a diagonally-angled building straddling four lots and serving up ceramics classes for more than 50 at-risk kids at one time. Pugh pegs the cost at about $35M. Cool idea, but we're not sure how the community would react to the thought of razing of a serviceable apartment building that does its job anchoring the corner.
·Artist, Architect Team up for Bold Bridgeport Vision [DNAinfo]
·EB Bridgeport Project [ponte]