by Michael R. Allen
Each year, freshman students in professor Bob Hansman’s Hewlett City Seminar at the Washington University School of Architecture trek to the Wellston Loop area of north St. Louis. Amid some of the city’s most intense urban decay, the students learn from observing conditions, listening to residents and studying the history of the area’s decline. Then they devise design interventions that could transform the community, channeling residents’ desires into plans for the future. This is one of the best two-way streets in town. The freshman, many from other places where conditions like those of north St. Louis are rare, are exposed to a whole new world. Residents of the community are in turn exposed to an urban design perspective their political leaders often disregard.
This fall’s program is over, and the students will present the models and plans they have created this semester. The presentation is tomorrow, Saturday December 8, at Friendly Temple, 5540 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. The event is open to the public.