Renovating Lenox Lounge
Prompt: The goal for this project was to pick a neighborhood, find a problem, and solve it based on research, observation, and interviews. The neighborhood that I chose to work with was Central Harlem.
Central Harlem is gentrifying through the passing of time, thus, a lot of the older restaurants and locally-owned stores are getting replaced by new ones. The citizens of Central Harlem aren’t pleased with the changes that are negatively affecting their culture and history. Particularly, Lenox Lounge which was a long-standing bar, located between 124th and 125th streets. This is where gentrification is mainly taking place. It was demolished for Sephora to be built.
The Lenox Lounge functioned as a site for performances by artists like Billie Holiday and Miles Davis. Music and food formed a big part of the Harlem culture, thus that shouldn’t be taken away from them. My intervention or solution was to renovate Lenox Lounge by using the concept of blending the old with the new so that the positive impacts of gentrification are apparent but the culture is still preserved. I am going to use a few of the elements of Lenox Lounge’s design along with the colors, yet make it look a bit more modern so that the younger generation also visits it. This would be an area where all types of people can visit. The building would be sustainable so that it grows its own food, and solar panels for renewable energy would likewise be used. Food is what brings people together, thus I want people to unite at this location to preserve a slice of Harlem culture.