Hypothetical: The Garden at Plainfield West

All of this talk about Elmwood Gardens’ redevelopment reminds me of my thesis project in architecture school. Nearly four years ago, at Drexel, I placed a hypothetic project in Plainfield at the corner of South Second Street and Grant Avenue. This is possibly the only large, vacant site in Plainfield (not counting the municipal lots), and was at one point considered for a new middle school.

In my “utopian” project, I proposed retail space, a restaurant, a community space, a bowling alley, and a grocery store. The site was largely covered by an urban farm and parking was moved above the building. Several spaced-out elevators brought guests down into the complex at various points.

Hypothetical school projects like these are imaginative, and the same level of detail and understanding of feasibility is not allowed as in real projects, obviously. I’ve learned more in the years since. Nevertheless, I did enjoy working on and rendering this one, and it is still part of my portfolio.


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