Soria City Studio 2010
Community Partners: Soria City Civic Organization, Soria City Property Owners Association, Morningstar Baptist Church, Payne's Cafe, Mississippi Center for Justice, City of Gulfport, IRD, Hope CDA, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, University of Minnesota-College of Design
During the spring semester of 2010, the Gulf Coast Studio hosted five graduate architecture students from the University of Minnesota College of Design. The studio was a comprehensive, 8-week studio focused on community design practice at the neighborhood scale. Specifically, the students worked with the residents and organizations of Soria City, a historic African American neighborhood in Gulfport.
The City of Gulfport had identified 20th Street, in the heart of Soria City, as a place to start working to renovate existing buildings, create new infill residential and commercial development, and improve the infrastructure and streetscape in the neighborhood public spaces. Along with the students, the GCCDS has and continues to help residents create plans to bring resources into Soria City from the City and the state, and help provide direction to private business owners and non-profit organizations.
The primary goals for the Soria City Studio in the spring of 2010 were to:
- Help residents address zoning and parking issues
- Develop streetscape improvement designs
- Assist the community in implementing streetscape improvements
- Design and build a public discourse place as part of the streetscape work
- Program and design adaptive resuse of an historic house
- Work with the GCCDS to create useful information for the community
Through partnership with a neighborhood business owner, the GCCDS was able to use a vacant storefront for studio space. This allowed the students to work everyday within the context of Soria City. By meticulously measuring and documenting the entire neighborhood, students and GCCDS staff have built an archive of information that has proven useful for all participating in the ongoing work in Soria City.
University of Minnesota Students:
Matt Erickson, Brita Hauser, Brady Hickox, Will St. Germaine, Angela Taffe