View All

Great Migration & Memorial Highway Exhibition Opening in New Rochelle

The work resulting from Gina and Rhiannon’s design studio at the Harvard Graduate School of Design will be exhibited over the course of Black History Month in the New Rochelle Public Library. According to the press release:

“In the Fall of 2021, a dozen students at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design worked in tandem with a dozen residents of New Rochelle to consider challenges facing the historic Black neighborhoods affected by the dramatic growth and development in downtown.  The design studio, led by Gina Ford and Rhiannon Sinclair, became an unusual local collaboration between students and community in active planning, cultural storytelling, and systems thinking, as a way to surface designs for investment in public infrastructure and community development.

The collaborative results are eight specific projects of urban design, landscape architecture, community development and policy ideas focused on community health, including cultural exchange and memory, food access, affordable housing, public mobility and safety and re-building local economy.  

Specific projects are:

  • Know Thyself:  Unforgetting Black heritage
  • The Lincoln Avenue Cookbook:  Recipes for addressing food access and cultural continuity
  • Designing Revitalization:  Making way for a Black circular economy
  • Trust Loop:  A framework for affordable transportation
  • Surfacing Counter Memories:  Harnessing the power of counter memories held by Black New Rochellians
  • Opportunity Co-op: Home as a living spectrum
  • Dream Bus: A children’s book addressing social issues imbued in riding the school bus
  • Bracing Peter Bracey:  Community development through housing design

The exhibit will walk through the design studio’s process, starting with an introduction and brief history of the Black community in New Rochelle. A video of this history is also available online. The exhibit organizes details the studio’s eight projects into three themes: A Place of Resonance, A Community With Roots, and A Place of Change. The exhibit will also include models and promotional materials the students created to share their projects broadly.

The exhibit will be on display during Black History month, February 5 to March 3, in the lobby of the New Rochelle Public Library, 1 Library Plaza, New Rochelle, New York.  The public is invited.   Library hours are 9:00 am to 8:00 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and noon to 5:00 pm on Sunday.  Please check the NRPL website for announcements and any change in hours.  

Bring your smart phones!  The exhibit includes QR codes which activate videos and slide shows with rich design detail, local history and memories of the residents and their families growing up and living in New Rochelle’s historic Black neighborhoods.”