Early this semester, I was recruited by the Tulane City Center to lead the construction of a temporary facade installation at the Dew Drop Inn, a landmark in Central City, New Orleans.
In its prime the Dew Drop Inn contained a hotel, a barbershop, and a prominent nightclub where icons like Ray Charles once played. Its owners are raising money for its renovation, but for now this historic building is dilapidated and vacant. To beautify the facade and generate awareness and interest during the fundraising period, the Tulane City Center designed a large temporary art installation for the facade of the Dew Drop.
I worked with Nick Jenisch, a project manager at the City Center, to develop a structure that we could install in a quick timeframe. Over the course of eight weekends from September to November, we worked with a great set of volunteers to fabricate and install this structure. Last Sunday, November 2nd, Nick and I installed the artwork itself. The project is complete in time to coincide with Better Block, a neighborhood visioning project held this year on LaSalle Street.
The artwork is stretched across a frame of vertical trusses and horizontal beams made of 2×4 and 2×6 pressure-treated wood. The beams are hung from the trusses with Simpson LSU26 adjustable joist hangers. The trusses are secured to the building at top and bottom by a pair of custom-fabricated metal brackets, using 14″ long bolts that go through 2×8 ledger boards on the inside and outside of the wall.