CHC 1: CLUES FROM THE PAST


At the start of a project, we want to learn everything--from where the trash comes out of the buildings to which of the existing benches get used and which sit empty. What's the condition of the soil and the trees? Are the drains working?

We’re meeting with the site manager and the board and talking with the security guards, grounds crews, and residents we meet on site. We are looking to uncover clues about how the physical environment came to be the way we find it today.

We found this early photo of the completed landscape. Looks like the paths at 210 Clinton Avenue are in virtually the same place as they were back then. There are no fences at all! And the private terraces at the base of the building look like they were enclosed in shrubs.

We also found this architectural rendering of the project before it was built. Looks to be the north campus. Are those reflecting pools? 

During site visits, we are also looking for distinctive details and elements. We’ve seen a few beautiful large oaks and sycamore trees that may be part of the original landscape planting. There are also interesting details on the buildings. One of the entrances to 205 Clinton does not have an entrance canopy. The full height of the entry portal and its nautical-themed mosaic is visible. 

It helps to appreciate the luxurious white marble that was used for the entry, benches and planters around each entry. We also discovered that the same marble is carried through some of the lobbies as though the entrances are portals through the buildings. Today, 210, 345, and 361 Clinton Avenue are the only buildings which allow passage through from one side to the other. 

In the coming weeks and months, we will be pulling together as much information as we can discover. What do you think we need to know about this place?