The Empty Space Project team has set out impact the community in a larger capacity. We have partnered with property owner Rev. Floyd Palmer to help renovate this multi-unit property into a multi purpose studio accessible to creatives with the neighboring communities.
Our goal is to create mentorship programs partnered with other creative organizations that will provide a new hands on learning experience for the young inspiring creatives.
Who we will Impact.
Currently there is a sustainable business running out of the bottom of the property called Cherry’s Barber Shop. This business is ran by Rev. Floyd Palmer who has been the property owner for years and has been running the barber shop since the Mid 1990's. Our goal is to continue his legacy and give back to the community.
Other than the business on the bottom half of the property the rest of the building has been abandoned and broken into by looters and squatters. The state has been attempting to condemn the building but our goal is to keep it open and Black owned to fight against gentrification and help build up the surrounding area.
Our building is located in Homewood, Pennsylvania, which in the early 1800's held mainly estates for the wealthy. Homewood at the time was residence for people like Andrew & Thomas Carnegie. During the early 1900's Homewood later became one of the most diverse areas in the city of Pittsburgh due to its affordable housing for middle class residents. In the 1950's the Civic Arena was built in the Lower Hill District of Pittsburgh PA. This forced over 8,000 people out of the city into Homewood and the Black population grew to 88%. On April 4th, 1968 after Martin Luther King’s assassination the Homewood riots began which caused crippling effects to the business district in the area. These riots raised police occupation in Homewood during the 1970's and 1980's. This sparked the beginning of gang violence and illegal drug activity which gave Homewood it’s current reputation. The 2010 Census of Homewood shows the Black Population is at 97.8% with one of the highest poverty percentages in the city of Pittsburgh. This neighborhood is being neglected and the amazingly talented people who live there are suffering because of it. We believe the artist community of Pittsburgh has the power to make a positive impact!
We will partner with ‘Neighborhood Landscape and Hauling‘ to begin cleaning the property out summer 2021. ‘Reality Thinking’ (ran by our team member Meleak Potter) will be analyzing the property’s value, bringing in architects and engineers to help assess the building. All work necessary to renovate the property will be hired out to Black owned businesses and contractors. We will spend the next year collecting donations to fund this project and connecting with the right people to help.