Home Building Curiosities: The Bridge

Home Building Curiosities: The Bridge

I think I am honestly in love. And William is right there with me. No, I am not talking about our marriage. It’s still going great, though! Thanks for asking. I am talking about our seventh Home Building Curiosity, The Bridge. The Bridge is highly unique in comparison to the curiosities who preceded it. This building curiosity is also relatively very new, and very local (well, to us at least). The Bridge is currently gathering the funds, resources, and momentum to tackle their first project: renovating the long-abandoned Bishop McDevitt Catholic school in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania into apartments, community development spaces, and educational centers. They want to turn the old school into what they are calling, an ‘eco-village.’

Much like William and I, The Bridge has five main principles that they would like to adhere to. Very unlike us, they are renovating an already standing, old, rather large, structure…a 1930’s, 115,000 square foot building resting on an eight and a half acre property, to be exact. They are also attempting to keep the building as true to its original form as possible, and only modifying the interior. We, on the other hand, are doing a small, new build.

Understandably, the five main principles are therefore different. As you may be well aware at this point, William and I’s five main principles that we want our home to follow are: meet Passive House standards, have prefabrication in mind, be net zero or even net positive, have a small footprint, and provide and enable healthy living. The Bridge’s five main principles are: Work- provide a place on-site (a makerspace, an office…) where entrepreneurs can gather together to share resources, ideas, and create, Eat- closed loop agriculture will be practiced, allowing fresh food to be available to inhabitants year round, Live- apartments will be available for rent, including affordable housing options, Learn- job training, personal development, and tutoring will be made available to inhabitants on-site, Play- arcades, concert venues, gyms, will all be on-site for inhabitants. Because this is a Home Building Curiosity, we believe that it is relevant to present The Bridge according to our five main principles. However, their five main principles will not be neglected, as you can see in the contexts of ‘net zero,’ ‘small footprint,’ and ‘healthy living.’

I Wanted to Write to You About This Book I Read

I Wanted to Write to You About This Book I Read

Dear Readers,

Let’s play pretend!

However, there should be a disclaimer that the pretend play we are about to engage in, is not the fun, fantasy, imaginary world you probably conjured up and played in as a kid. This pretend play provides a glimpse of a reality that some of us have been blessed to not have to live. This form of ‘play’ outlines a real-life narrative with a real-life societal structure that pervades eviction and homelessness…and all the ills that are intertwined.

Ready?! (Remember, you had every option to stop reading at this point, and if you make the active choice to continue engagement with this blog, I hold no accountability…okay? Good.)

First, your name is Pam. Not your real name, but for all purposes of protecting the real ‘Pam,’ we are going to say your name is Pam. We are pretending, after all.

Alrighty, Pam…you’re pregnant. Seven months pregnant with your fourth daughter, to be exact. And Pam, you are adorable. You’re “thirty years old…with a midwestern twang and a face cut from a high school yearbook photo.” Your landlord decides to exploit your adorableness, and asks you to speak to reporters who keep showing up at your trailer park.

You see, the park you have been living in for the past two years with your boyfriend and three daughters, is facing the threat of being shut down and all tenants being forced to vacate the premises. Your landlord believes that you may make a “sympathetic case,” and that your cuteness and big baby bump can cover up the fact that the trailer park has had seventy code violations in the past two years, 260 police calls in the past one year, is considered a “haven for drugs, prostitution, and violence”….oh, and only recently had an “unconnected plumbing system” cause “raw sewage to bubble up and spread under ten mobile homes.”