Date of Award
Master of Architecture (MArch)
Vacant buildings in post-industrial America are produced by a metabolism of neglect and disinvestment. Challenging the conventional approach of demolish and rebuild, an alternative path is possible that acknowledges the built environment as it exists.
I am specifically looking at vacant structures in the city of Baltimore. Currently there are approximately 16,000 structures consisting of mostly rowhouses. Inherent to these buildings are shared walls and continuous facades which when subjected to decay will directly impact the physical condition of adjoining properties. Baltimore City is characterized by blocks and blocks of rowhouses, which tell a history of the development of the city and their current states of repair provide insight regarding the socio-economic conditions. A current examination would show a clear undoing is taking place where missing portions of a row become the most prominent sight. When a form is repeated at such a large scale, the moments where they go missing begin to drastically shift the perception of the built environment. The remaining houses frame sites of former inhabitation and provide evidence of decades-long degradation. Compounding issues of race, class, economics and politics have led to the abandonment of these properties across the city.
The goal of this directed research project is to create a pattern book of strategies that may be a tool for addressing the many types of vacant rowhouses in Baltimore.
McCabe, Taylor, "Adaptive reuse pattern book : re-evaluating historical capital" (2020). Masters Theses. 450.
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